Worlds 2019 - Germs, Diseases, Etc

As worlds is approaching, I would like to propose an awareness at the VRC world championship. During last year at the 2018 World Championship my entire team came home sick. We came to realize that there were absolutely nothing that would fight diseases even close to the pits (other than the restrooms that are out in the hallway). At VRC Worlds 2019, I think it would be a good idea to consider providing hand sanitizer stations near the pits and fields. Thoughts, opinions?


That would be a good idea, but I wouldn’t rely on the RECF to provide them with this short of notice.

I think teams banding together to have large publicly accessible bottles would be pretty realistic, as well as showcase the international friendliness and cooperation of our competition.


I think that is a great idea. @Got_a_Screw_Loose is right though I wouldn’t rely on the RECF to provide them.

Also, flying is a good way to catch bugs. Small space, lots of people.


I also would not rely on anyone to provide this, perhaps it would be good just to say to everyone right here right now to throw a few travel sized hand sanitizes in your kit/luggage for your team. Also, just a friendly reminder to all teams that robots are a minefield for germs.


This is a great idea, I will definitely be making extensive use of hand sanitizer at worlds. I learned my lesson when I caught the flu at WV states earlier this year.


VEX could have a corporate sponsor give them out. (Maybe the University of Louisville medical school?)


In 2017, if I remember correctly the swag bag contained small Vex hand sanitizer spray bottles. Hand sanitizer dispensers across the arena would be a great idea.


They did actually include VEX-branded hand sanitizer in the volunteer goodie bags last year, so organizers are at least somewhat conscious of this concern. Anyway, as others have said it’s probably too late to do something like this for worlds this year, but definitely something worlds organizers (and EPs in general) should consider for future events if they don’t already.


There was a hepatitis outbreak last year and E Coli this year. Avoid uncooked food and stay away from non-bottled drinks (ice is a common source).


With measles in the news, I’m nervous about that, too. But it appears to be so contagious and even prodigious hand washing can’t keep you from picking it up if you’re susceptible and exposed to it. Many of us older adults (born before 1989) only got one vaccination shot - so we’re not nearly as protected as the younger generation. So let’s just hope that no one brings measles to Worlds with them!


@Connor, it is great that you not only thinking about all possible contingencies regarding your robot ops, but also take seriously the well being of the humans that are accompanying those robots. :slight_smile:

Seriously, I am impressed by the depth of your advanced planning and concern for your fellow competitors.

I just want to remind everyone that stress is one of the biggest contributing factors to the weakening of the immune system.

I understand that is very hard to give yourself enough sleep and relax when you are coming to the Worlds and need to apply final tweaks to your robot and test them when the time is running out. Plus, traveling with your team and bringing all the parts and extra equipment could be a major headache…

Still, it is important for everyone to remember that you need to give yourself some rest and relax before the competition. Not only it will let your immune system to recharge, but you will also have much better driving performance at the competition after the good night sleep.


And “don’t forget to eat!” says Mom.


But, inevitably, No one does eat (that works on the robot, of course).


I actually have never eaten at a competition save for a snack in late quals or something to that effect. Too much going on for such sparse manpower. (Increasing numbers next year, so hopefully I’ll find the time.)

Seriously though, I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone walking around with a mask and latex gloves for safety if they’re susceptible to catching diseases. (Or just an idea to go as doctors for the costume contest, along with the protection benefits)


I am the coder. I snack constantly (over my code of course).

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Well, I guess, that depends on the metabolism of the specific individual.

Similar to what @Got_a_Screw_Loose said, I drink plenty of water but prefer to skip the meals (save for breakfast) when I travel or in the stressful environments. That reduces my chances to get food-borne illness at a time when my body would have the least spare capacity to fight it.

I also find that being slightly hungry increases my concentration and situational awareness.

On the other hand, you don’t want to be too hungry, to the point when gears and sprockets start to look as a snack to you. There is only so much slip gears that you team will realistically need… :smile:


I always eat a big breakfast at comps, then one or two slices of pizza during lunch. but I drink so much water. I find that not too much food, but a ton of water betters my driving skill.

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The latest article I can find is that they think the E Coli source was ground beef though they are not sure if it was from retail or restaurant. You might want to avoid the Med Rare burgers while in KY.

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Feel free to visit the Team VIRUS pits, 3547 in MS & HS, and MCCC in the VEX-U division! :mask:. No guarantees, but we’re usually not contagious. :slightly_smiling_face:

PS, help yourself to a squirt of our hand sanitizer. It’s green, kills germs and bacteria, but not Viruses!