What can WE do to make this season happen

@xenon27 has found a great visual metaphor for how the current events affect our neck of the woods in the 2020-2021 season:

us new zealand

However, I do not want to open this topic to endless frustrating political back and forth - this is not what this forum was created for.

I would like to start a discussion of what every one of us could realistically do to make this season happen or, at least, to salvage bits and pieces of what will be left of it, in the wake of the unmitigated Covid-19 handling disaster.

For the reasons that escape my mind, many of my friends are still doubtful about wearing the masks as a way to combat the virus transmission. This should never be some sort of political statement.

Face masks “offer much more protection against coronavirus than many think,” reports the Los Angeles Times. (Alternate version here)

And this takes on additional importance in light of some bad news reported by CNN:

I do not know if there is anything more important that any of us could do to help this season, other than to wear a mask and persuade everyone around you to do the same.

All scientific evidence, I could find, points to the masks and social distansing being the most effective tools against the covid spread, except the vaccine, which hasn’t been fully developed and tested yet, and may not be widely available for the next six months to a year.

And, according to CDC experts, “coronavirus surge could be controlled in 4-6 weeks if people wore masks” and be disciplined about social distancing.


Don’t give up hope. If you have a robot kit or some parts at home, build. Keep on Building. Don’t have a programmer tho? We have plenty of free time this year! Be ready at the opportunity that might arise. Its better to prepare for the rain, then to wait for it to come and have it wasted. If your school isn’t looking too good for competition, maybe ask to buy parts and make your own team. Or even ask them if you can do zoom meetings online and divvy up the work. There’s not much we can do in regards to making sure competitons will happen, but we can prepare for when they do.


move to new zealand.


I would be stupid to think that we can stop a disease from spreading by “Working Together.” New Zealand had a time where they locked down the country for weeks. If America were to do such a thing, we would have to set aside our constitutional rights of:

The reason why America doesn’t do well is because proper measures against Coronavirus is unconstitutional. And most Americans would get mad if their constitutions are violated. In my opinion, I believe it’s for the best to set aside constitutional rights for the sake of saving a large portion of our country as so many are dead thanks to Coronavirus (So far America has 141K dead due to Coronavirus. Even if we removed biases, I still think the number would be high regardless).


Ummm Even if I agree or disagree, we’re supposed to make this nonpolitical, I wanted to go a politcal rant, but this isn’t the place

The existence of the first post made this thread political. But in my opinion, if this discussion is civil then I wouldn’t see a reason why we can’t discuss politics.

True, but he said he didn’t want " cto endless frustrating political back and forth - this is not what this forum was created for."

on a more productive note, this is what everyone should be doing:

  • don’t go out unless you really have to
  • if you do go out wear a mask at all times
  • don’t meet with other people outside your household
  • wash your hands after handling all mail, packages, or other handled substances, and before eating.

there is a line I believe when going out that you should try not to cross. I think walking around your neighborhood is perfectly fine if you wear a mask and stay away from other people. I think going to a park is ok as long as you wear a mask, and stay as far away from other people as you can. But I think going to restaurants, inside or outside, is an unnecessary risk. Going to get a haircut, or to a crowded beach, is an unnecessary risk.
If you are taking such unnecessary risks, you are gambling with other peoples lives, and are definitely part of the problem.

I think the main reason we have this problem is that Americans are more about an individualistic, and tbh selfish mindset than other parts of the world. Obviously people are willing to risk the lives of others for their own pleasures otherwise we wouldn’t be in this situation.

As far as what we can do, just try not to take risks. I’ll state what my household does:

  • we don’t go out except on walks
  • we wear a mask if we leave our house at all
  • we order groceries online, and then disinfect them with alcohol before putting them away.
  • we let our mail sit for a few days to de-contaminate
  • I don’t meet with anyone outside my household

and sure, this livestyle isn’t great. but I’m more than willing to make these minor sacrifices for the greater good, and I find it frustrating that so many aren’t.

For context, I live in los angeles county, one of the worst hotspots in the united states. I’m not saying you need to be doing all the things I am, if you’re in a rural county with no cases, this obviously doesn’t apply as much to you as it does to someone in a city. but I would still ask that you take precautionary measures to avoid fueling at outbreak.

I would love for this not to be a political debate, but quite frankly the government has forced the global health issue into a political issue. I think the government has as much of a role in our failure as the people, but lets try not to dwell on these issues here, for obvious reasons.


WEAR A MASK thank you


Our state, Texas, has a high amount of Covid cases and it continues to skyrocket even with a “Wear a mask or pay a $250 fine,” and “Please maintain social distancing.” I am certain the same thing is happening to other states. Humans are known to take risks if the stakes are not high for themselves. A large chunk of those who ignore these practices are those who are young, because they know that if they get Coronavirus it would be a cold and their immune system will live through it. Many of my friends had Coronavirus and they kept shrugging this disease off like a cold. I do believe we should practice wearing masks and social distancing, but I believe influencing to be just as important, and messaging/mailing people with the authority to make a change. It would be a better impact to have temporary laws in place with high penalties to ensure the safety of all people, than relying on 350 million individuals to “work together” at preventing the spread of this disease. I know I probably sound like I’m ignorant for including politics, but using New Zealand as an example implies that we should do the same. And if we wish to do the same, then we would need our government to take such a risk for the safety of the country.


@Connor Respectfully, you are completely missing the point of this thread. The political situation is what it is; it is not in the immediate power of anyone here to do anything about it.

This thread, if I understand @Illyana correctly, is meant to focus on reducing transmission and containing coronavirus within the scope of VIQC/VRC/VEXU/VAIC — which is within the immediate power of individuals in this community to accomplish.


unfortunately, most people don’t wear masks nor were they disciplined. This will take much longer for the virus to stop spreading, or at all.


Allow me to give an example on what I could do to improve Coronavirus within VEX/VRC:

  • I could send an email to the GDC/RobotEvents asking about adding a rule that teams are not allowed to compete without a mask
  • I could email the EP about discussing strategies on how to prevent Coronavirus from spreading, as wearing just a face mask probably isn’t enough
  • I could email my mentor to see what rules we can set in place to ensure that our team stays safe

No events over ten people capacity are allowed for counties that are in “Phase 3” in Washington. But our reopening process has been paused.

Let me state what I am doing - not posting events until we know they can be held safely in our area. No club meetings in person until we can do so safely. Personally, I wear mask every time I am outside my home, wash my hands regularly, and keep social distance with anyone outside my family.

Be disciplined.

keep minds busy, lots of stuff to do and skills to develop.

Things to do, keep conversations going with peers - this is most difficult times - be kind, be supportive…


In the context of hosting events, I have put in a number of hours, in collaboration with several other EPs and key volunteers in my region, to essentially discard our conventional ways of running tournaments and come up with an entirely new layout and set of hygiene practices to maximize social distancing and minimize potential contamination.

Once we get the necessary green lights from RECF (some of our ideas will require officially approved variances from usual rules), I intend to open-source much or all of our plans to hopefully help other EPs across the world.

Also, like lacsap, I’m in no rush to post events.


I mean, I wish we could behave like good boys and girls, and keep this discussion focused within the scope of VEX without venturing into the world of politics.

I watched RECF Town Hall and read about EP summit and how much efforts and time they put into contingency planning.

But the more I follow the news, the more it feels like the bottom is about to fall out.

I fear, that all the countless hours and energy that RECF and EPs spend on planning, is going to be thrown out of the window and overcome by the current events.

I feel like these few weeks leading to when the schools are supposed to start, is the last opportunity to do something meaningful before it is too late to do anything.

Equations of the exponential growth are cold and unforgiving.

I recently learned about the effects of the viral load. If everyone is aware of those, it may save them, and whoever they get in contact with, from getting severely sick or even from dying.

Here is a quote from the article

In the ideal world, we all would be on the same page, sharing practical information like what is the viral load and what we can do to minimize it.

What scares me a lot is that some of my friends, who I know are scientifically minded, keep finding lame excuses not to agree with the benefits of wearing masks.

Even if there is only 1% chance that wearing the mask for a few weeks will help to protect someone else (that I may not even know) from getting severely sick, I would do it in a heartbeat.

But there are many people that resist. Why? It’s not like they are asked to give up their firstborn.

This gives me a very pessimistic outlook for the future of this season.

And, since the article mentions hamsters, I have a question for the mentors.

I, obviously, could stay quiet and do what’s generally expected of me - i.e. post cute memes with hamsters wearing face masks.

But I feel like it is beyond the point when adults demonstrated they could manage the pandemic within whatever it is they call proper political decorum.

Which would you prefer me/us to do: post pictures of cute hamsters and move on, or speak what’s on our minds, which is that handling of covid pandemic by current administration had been an unmitigated disaster, because they ignore science, and that the blame is on them for, most likely, lost change up season and, most likely, financial hardship for vex in the near future?


Lol, that’s obviously too cute to be true. Read about the actual study.


There has been a very recent accidental study, that once again proved that wearing a mask helps protect you from COVID-19. Here is the article by the CDC:

The TL;DR of it is that there were two stylists running two different salons. One of them had been diagnosed with the virus, and was in contact with the other. Stylist A worked with clients for 8 days before getting tested for the virus, while Stylist B worked with clients for 10 days before getting tested. They both tested positive, and within those days, they, combined, worked with 139 people.

In both salons, they required both the client and the stylist to wear masks. Other stylists in salon A who worked closely with stylist A and stylist B were then quarantined and monitored for 14 days, and none of them reported positive symptoms for COVID-19. Out of the 139 clients the stylists interacted with, 67 of them volunteered to be tested for COVID-19 5 days after exposure, and none of them tested positive for the virus.

In my eyes, this is thorough proof that masks help stop the spread of COVID-19. While it still may not be safe to run competitions as we used to in the past, and that the virus may evolve, I see this as a step forward towards being safer overall, but everyone has to cooperate.

Depending on what happens in the world, this season could or could not be viable. We never know what will happen in the future. However, if everyone wears masks and the amount of cases decreases, my look on the season, from the standings right now, is optimistic.


Elect better leaders. Fight for change?


Can’t wait for the fifth graders in VEX IQ to commit voter fraud!

Unless you could somehow enforce the idea to more people, I don’t think there’s much to do for the students under 18 except for social distancing/masks.