by LCDR Patrick Giese, 2nd Fleet Ops Officer — 2021.01.19 PD / 349.18.15 AL
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the last year and a sizable chunk of 2021 offer huge challenges for our ships, groups and personnel. We’ve had to shelter in place, mask, avoid social situations, and large gatherings – which are considered by many to be the lifeblood of fan organizations. Some of us in fact either suffered directly from the pandemic, either contracting COVID, looking after someone else who came down with it, or worse case, watched as some parted company with us too soon and soared off into the void. Jobs, family members, friends, and shipmates all impacted in strongly negative ways.
Nonetheless, rising against the challenge is part of the 2nd Fleet character, and once again, we lifted off under heavy fire and still managed to pull together in fun and unique ways. Out on the Discord servers we planned and schemed fun in ways that kept us safe and let us continue to (virtually) gather to game and socialize. Socially distanced Geocaching hunt early in the year, later, contributing to virtualized cons like CDRE Justin Grays at vConvergence for the panel on POC in fandom, HMS Vixen’s Blood Drive challenge, and the HMS Havoc Theater watch events to name a few. It might be that given the challenges of upper Midwest winter living prepared us for hunkering down and still having fun!
On the relief front, the Gryphon’s Wings was there time and again to help those adversely impacted from among us, with donations rolling in to support those less fortunate from among our shipmates. No doubt more will yet be required of us until we can be together and celebrate meeting the challenge. So we still do the necessary, follow guidelines, help our shipmates when needed, and plan for the return of gatherings.
Looming on the horizon of 2022 is our part in delivering WorldCon in Chicago. The fleet has offered to assist with the event, and RADM Geoff Strayer is assembling the fleet support team for that event. And the big one this Fall of course, the Matter of Honor LARP on the USS Edson in Bay City, Michigan! But most important, please remember to stay safe, and respect the guidelines that are in place to mitigate the scourge, until we can gather again!