A translation of the post by REF President Jean-Louis Truquet F5DJL says:
In recent weeks, the spread of COVID-19 has accelerated suddenly around the world, causing a totally unexpected health and economic situation for all: border closures, confinement of populations, declarations of emergency, suspension of air links and maritime… It is a profound change in our lives and as a result, our country and the world more generally isolate themselves to fight the pandemic.
In this difficult context, the first sentences of this editorial will be for the members of our community and their families, those affected by the disease but also and all those particularly who on the front line treat the sick, as well as all those who deliver services and goods essential to ensure a form of continuity for the good of all.
The functioning of our amateur radio community has been profoundly changed. Many events are canceled or postponed: trade fairs, meetings of radio clubs, the rules for participation in competitions are changed. Strict compliance with official recommendations in order to protect yourself and yours is absolutely necessary in all forms of the practice of our activities.
However, we radio amateurs are fortunate and used to being able to easily keep in touch with each other over the air and thus minimize the effects of the social distancing imposed on everyone during this period. Multiple initiatives have emerged to this effect : regular QSOs have been set up daily, the attendance of our bands has increased , as well as participation in days of activities and contests, etc.
We must not forget that this forced confinement for many of us can be an opportunity to complete the projects waiting on our shelves : a QO-100 station, the discovery of digital modes, the writing of an article, a little training with friends at the CW, the further preparation of the license through the courses broadcast on the Internet… The richness of our activity offers multiple possibilities, even in a situation of confinement.
This April 2020 issue of our review is in electronic form with free access to all on our website, we hope that reading it will enhance your isolation and encourage those who know us less to discover the life of the association and of our community and participate.
We had to quickly adapt the functioning of the association, and the Board of Directors took, in agreement with the association of Radio amateurs of Deux Sèvres (ARADS 79), the decision to cancel the 2020 Congress of Bressuire and to postpone the 2020 general assembly at a later date , probably in October 2020 during the HAMEXPO fair, if the future health situation allows it to be held.
We thank ARADS 79 for its cooperation in managing this exceptional situation and for its proposal to organize the 2021 Congress in Bressuire, we will therefore be happy to welcome you on the BOCAPOLE website in 2021. We will disseminate information relating to the 2020 general assembly, statutory and voting documents, in our July-August 2020 issue, hoping to have better visibility of its organizational conditions during the HAMEXPO 2020 exhibition.
The head office has changed its operation, but the services are still maintained to this day. The QSL service ensures the sorting of the cards already received but, in accordance with the official recommendations and in consultation with the IARU, we limit postal shipments. The operation of the shop is ensured within the limits of postal facilities.
The ANFR has put in place a service continuity plan, however the amateur radio examination sessions are suspended until further notice and, although some of the international CMR 2023 coordination meetings are held by video conference, some delay on the works is anticipated.
Even if it will be, we know, proven, we are certain that our community will be able to use all its values to get through this difficult period as well as possible. The Board of Directors and I will participate with all our strength.
Take care of yourself and yours, best friends.
Jean-Louis Truquet F5DJL, president of REF
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