QRZ Logbook

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Hamvention 2022: COVID Superspreader?

From many accounts it looks like Hamvention®'s return post-COVID has been a success, with over 31,000 attending the big event in Xenia. 

From many Twitter accounts, however, it looks like COVID may be alive and well in whatever variant that it's currently undertaking.

A search on Twitter using tags "hamvention" and "covid" yield several tweets of Hamvention® attendees that subsequently tested positive for COVID upon their return home.

Most attendees that tested positive are reporting mainly fatigue and cold symptoms. Being an international event, several attendees from outside the US also reported testing positive.

It is not known how many of these attendees were vaccinated, boostered, etc. 

Hamvention®'s statement prior to the event about COVID was mainly that they were "monitoring events closely" and going by the state and local guidelines, and that they didn't anticipate the State of Ohio cancelling large events. They also stated COVID testing was not planned and recommended masks.

However, from some accounts, masks were a rare sight amongst the 31k in attendance, although some accounts say mask wearing was more noticeable indoors than outside.:

Some commented they chose to stay home, as they were positive before the event or still uncertain about the possibility of catching the virus.

Various accounts are reporting 50-100+ attendees, and will probably climb as the 2-week gestation is still ongoing, still it's a remarkably low number (of those that are posting) considering the number of attendees after a 2-year hiatus.

Checking some of the groups on Facebook have not yielded many users reporting contracting COVID. Any reports on social media are still basically hearsay and at this point it may be near-impossible to gauge/track actual numbers.

Again the numbers are so low that it's almost like comparing the infection rates to that of the common cold, or any other virus that made headlines in the last 20 years pre-COVID.

Considering the past two years of COVID cancellations of many events across the realm of sports, entertainment, and conventions, the Hamvention® was another event that had to occur to get this world back to a sense of normalcy. Is it any more or a risk than the Super Bowl Big Game, Vegas/Orlando conventions, or the NBA and Stanley Cup playoffs with multiple games in sold-out arenas?

By now we've all been educated on how to prevent catching the virus, with hand sanitizer, masks, and vaccinating ourselves. While we cannot guarantee we'll never get sick, we should continue to take precautions against ANY virus.

Common sense against the common cold would dictate good hygiene practices in daily life such as washing your hands, wearing a mask when required/recommended, and getting flu shots and the necessary vaccinations will prevent the spread of most any disease along with COVID. 

Stay healthy!