An observation I would like to mention that I recently experienced.
I attended the IPMS Metro OKC SoonerCon 2020 show this weekend. For this regional area, it was the first show held since all the shelter in place orders were set in motion back in March.
While traveling from Dallas to OKC that morning I wondered what it would be like. Would people show? Will there be models? Are there going to be vendors? To my surprise lots of people arrived. Some made hotel reservations since their drive was from far distances (Houston, 8 hrs plus!). There were many models on the contest tables and all the vendor room tables were sold out. Upon arriving at the venue, all the necessary precautions were taken by the host club with mask, gloves and hand sanitizer being available if a visitor needed them.
I've attended past shows at OKC and this by far was one of the larger ones. As model builders, we are an introverted group and keeping social distance was a natural thing to do. I listened and talked to many folks and a common theme was to support the local chapter as well as getting out and enjoying our hobby amongst old friends and peers with the same interests. Some were just ready to be at a show since they haven’t been to one in so long.
A very successful show and supported by folks near and far and from all different age groups.
I read a news article about a month ago that caught my eye (can’t recall the publication). It was an analogy about how we live with COVID and driving a car. In life we have things or activities that have some amount of risk. Some are riskier than others but it helps when we take necessary precautions to make it safer. This is true as we go through daily life.
Driving a car has its own set of risks. We know its usefulness for us but we make a choice to get in and allow it to take us from point A to B. To make it safer for us the automaker has installed some safety measures like airbags, antilock brakes, defrosters, brake lights, seatbelts, etc. When we get in, we make personal choices to make our travel more safe like adjusting the seat, using the seatbelt, adjusting the mirrors, using the turn signal, and making sure our passengers are wearing a seatbelt. These precautions will not 100% guarantee our safety but it will increase our survivability in case an accident does happen along the way.
Living with COVID we have to make daily choices. And when we do it is up to us to decide to take the precautions to make us safer. Precautions by wearing a mask, gloves, using hand sanitizer and social distancing. Moreover, what about destination and timing? Grocery shop at 7 AM on a weekday versus Saturday afternoon? Go to a crowed bar on Friday night? Nothing is guaranteed 100% but our choices and precautions will allow us to increase our safety so we can live more fully when we do venture out.
There will be folks who cannot attend the 2020 Nationals for fear of getting sick. That is OK. We are living in a strange time and this fear is valid. Please stay home and hope you can attend the 2021 Nats.
For those who can attend please take the necessary precautions to allow you and those around you to have a very pleasant show.
Based on what I experienced at OKC, I believe people will support and attend the Nat’s because they love the hobby and want to reconnect with friends they have made over the years. People will attend because it is going forward and because it is “THE IPMS NATIONALS”. It will probably be the “Mask Wearing Nats” but it is still the Nats.
I just wanted to share an observation and the experience I had over the weekend in anticipation of a good show in San Marcos when we all do are part during this strange time.
Cheers! – Pat V.