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Oh No, Not Another COVID-19 Article!

By Ian Brown, Editor, EAA 657159

September 2020 – At the risk of turning you off completely, I thought I'd write a "lessons learned" article as it relates to holding chapter meetings. Some of our chapters are getting back on their feet. Some aren't. I thought I'd put some ideas down based on my own learning over the last six months.

Depending on where you live, and local regulations, you can actually get things moving in your chapter. Some chapters take the summer off, but many have their most fulfilling time in the warmer weather. I guess the most important takeaway for your editor is that we have to assume everyone around us is potentially infected, since people can be infectious without symptoms. This leads to the following actions:

  • All should be wearing masks unless you're in a bubble of people like family or friends you meet with regularly who don't meet with others. The mask is not really very helpful at filtering what you breathe in, but if we all do it, we protect each other. These mask frames would help you to speak clearly (great for your presenter) and avoid the mask rubbing. Not sure how many readers would worry about avoiding spoiling your lipstick but they do that too. They're also reusable.
  • Handwashing with soap is much better than sanitizers or bactericides. It actually makes the virus fall apart, and washes it down the drain. Don't forget to wash the faucet handle afterwards.
  • Cross-contamination is a big risk. How many times do we clean our car keys, door knobs, credit cards, cell phone, and steering wheel after we've been out in public? Have you ever touched your face before you got a chance to wash your hands after shopping? Did you ever receive a call while shopping? It's very easy to do. Watch this brief video.
  • About six feet is a good distance apart, ideally outdoors. It's very easy to move closer without noticing it and visual guides can help, like tape on the floor.
  • Adding fresh air dilutes the chance of virus particles being breathed in.
  • Your skin is a great barrier against viruses. Gloves are no better. Both can pick up a virus and transfer it to your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Anyway, you probably know all this, but as it relates to chapter meetings, maybe it will help you in setting up some rules. Go ahead, if permitted locally. Have your chapter meetings, fly-ins, and project workdays. Just do a little bit of planning, like making it easy for thorough hand washing with soap and water, extra masks if someone forgets theirs, taping six feet distancing on the floor, good ventilation, trash can for disposal of drinks containers, and a collective spirit that we can do this.

For those of you not holding meetings at all I can recommend Zoom and other video conferencing tools. A hidden bonus is that you might get attendance from people who couldn't physically get to the meeting. One chapter I'm a member of is seriously considering adding this to their normal meetings, whenever we get there.

I'm excited to share Jeff Seaborn's enthusiasm in welcoming our new board members, Phil Johnson and Chris Moran. I'm sure all of you would share our best wishes and thanks to Ed Lubitz and Lloyd Richards, outgoing board members, for many years of devoted service. Both are still definitely on the radar and we look forward to spending time with them at AirVenture 2021.

Thanks to Mark Briggs for his chapter profile article on Carp (Ottawa's) EAA 245 history and activities. They're a very strong chapter and if you're somewhere close, why not join them? Just a heads up for those chapter presidents who haven't written us a profile yet: expect an email sometime in the near future. Be ready to nominate the best writer/historian/officer in your chapter. Mark's article this month will take some beating.

Once again Mike Davenport came up with something to tweak our interest – an "almost meeting" with Sir Douglas Bader, legend and hero of WWII.

We're always looking for new articles and new writers. If you have something you'd like to share, just click on the "contact us" link at the top of this email and we'll help you through it.

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