Resumption of overnight activities - any plan or discussion?

Started by Eclipse, August 18, 2020, 12:33:43 am

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Quote from: etodd on August 19, 2020, 12:20:44 am
Quote from: Eclipse on August 18, 2020, 12:33:43 amMy personal feeling is that absent a vaccine / effective direct treatment, there is no way NHQ can allow overnights to resume ....

If the vaccine came out today, half the country will not jump to get it. Many will wait a few months or a year, to let others be the 'beta testers'.  Imagine the whole country getting it right away, and then a few months later the CDC saying "whoops!".

May as well just figure CAP will be down all through 2021. I wouldn't even begin to start thinking of overnight events until 2022.


There's also the "Anti-vaxxers" who don't believe in getting any vaccines at all.
That could be anywhere from 15 to 25 percent of the population.


Quote from: SarDragon on August 18, 2020, 09:18:43 pmI tried Colgan's link and all I get is spinning wheels. It appears that registration is still possible, but I did not try to complete the process.

You CAN still register.  It's even mentioned in the national newsletter.  You have to be logged in to use these links.  Then they're work fine.


So my understanding is that we wanted to limit overnight activities to decrease the amount of contact time between individuals.

If that's the case, why not just limit meetings and activities to 8 hours; or even 3 hours?

Not to get scientific here, but technically speaking, we can hold a 20-hour day with a rest break but not sleep in separate tents. I don't really get the consistency.

I do, however, understand that it's the conservative approach because, no matter how much guidance you give, someone is going to screw it up and cause a problem. But I feel like if we permit everyone to get together for a full day of 6-foot separation, then which has all of the same food consumption and hygiene needs over the same time period, why does it matter if they're awake or asleep? We can run a 14-hour day of model rocketry with 8 cadets and 2 seniors, but we have those same 8 cadets and 2 seniors show up at 7pm, do some rocketry, sleep at 9pm, wake up at 6am, and do a few more hours of rocketry in the morning before leaving. Other than the time wasted sleeping rather than doing the activities, I don't see the difference.

That goes back to me saying that I understand that it's tough to make guidance for tents versus hotels versus cabins, etc. And you're going to see someone do it anyway at some point (in which case it's really incumbent upon the leadership to address those issues...because I've seen far too many instances already where social distancing has not been maintained during Phase 0 and Phase I activities). The inconsistency gets frustrating.


Good question, Hornet (why does it matter if they're asleep).

My perspective comes from my DoD/DoE NBC/CBR training and working in contaminated areas, where dosage is a product of shielding and distance factored over time.  In other words, given an airborne contaminant, your shielding factor measures uptake rate into your body and can range from none (no eye protection, no mask/no respirator) to full PCs. Your distance from the source factor measures exposure rate (how many particles per minute/hour - how dense is the cloud). Then, you take those factors over the time you're IN the cloud, wearing whatever shielding.

So from that perspective, the nuclear/defense industry has a best practice called ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable). My father (Navy nuke 1st gen, TMI2 RAT team engineer, original INPO guy) was one of the original authors and he explained it thus:  you plan your work/training in a contaminated area before entering, you get your tools and materials ready, verbally walk through it, and then execute without lingering in order to reduce the exposure that makes it through shielding given that you have to be close to the source.

For CAP, applying ALARA to your question means: why accept the added exposure to the contaminant by planning your hypothetical overnight sleep, with members breathing the same facility air? Instead, CAP planners should plan events using ALARA as your first (day only) example event: get in, train using shielding and distance, and get out (minimizing exposure time).

If anyone thinks shared facility air isn't a watch item (i.e. "what could possibly go wrong in a hotel") I would respectfully point to the history of Legionnaires disease outbreaks as case studies, as well as USN current experience with deployed personnel and current outbreaks during BMT. 

So, that to me is why it does in fact matter if they're awake or asleep, as you ask.

Respectfully Submitted (R/s)


That's an entirely fair assessment, spam. But that still doesn't really apply to single-occupancy tented environments in open air conditions.

In this case, we would probably want to encourage outdoor activities more than indoor activities when possible. And this is something almost discouraged by many Wings as part of their remobilization plans as many Wings are actually limited their Phase I to light classroom-based activities only, to include primarily desktop training or staff meetings. I would think that those activities are the ones we would want to encourage to remain virtual while encouraging outdoor activities to reduce exposure.

Additionally, we see other close proximity activities that are authorized, such as flight training, which can last for several hours in an aircraft interior sitting only inches away. We call it mission essential, but it's really not in the trade off of disease exposure to recreational flying in many student pilot cases, particularly cadets.

Like I said, I go back to the assumption that it's just easier to issue blanket policy guidelines. The more complicated and complex the instructions are, the more opportunity for inadvertent deviation (e.g., if you tell people they can only do overnights in tents rather than hotels, you're going to end up with someone camping out in an airplane hangar thus breaking the rules).

I just wish the currently guidelines that we operate by was equally enforced. You see a number of Phase I gatherings on social media (or even in Wings that are still in Phase 0 where they operate under the guise of a assigned mission), and they're not following protocol. Then the leadership doesn't address it, or at least not in a serious sense. Then we're left with prolonged stand-downs or more restrictive policies because simple rules and instructions couldn't be followed at the start.

My frustration: those of us that attempt to be textbook rule junkies get stuck with the consequences of others' non-compliance.


Well, sure. We've seen that through posts here (posts now locked... so lets be nonspecific).

As the saying goes, "Aviation is in itself not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect" (attributed to Capt. A.G. Lamplugh, early 1930s). We've got an awful lot of OCD type people in aviation and engineering as a result of our learned tribal culture (and some natural tendencies) and we try to consciously/unconsciously police our aviation community as a result. Overkill? Perhaps... I think so at times. But that OCD Safety mindset is pretty culturally rooted by now. God knows I've had too many former shipmates die in crashes, and have worked on bases where the roads and hangars are named after dead pilots. So it is a cultural impulse in many of us to apply ORM and ALARA.

When I was a Wing Vice Commander, I did a rough plan for a smaller, multi weekend ES-themed Type B Encampment, which garnered some real interest, but we shelved it in case of future need. If we do reopen the bottle here, perhaps we need to consider a smaller model of Encampments wherein we... well, actually Encamp...

But to your point, I think using ALARA as an element to assess exposure likelihood while doing ORM risk planning is sound. Were I to see a plan which was executed by trained staff, mandated individual tents, distancing, and masks, and an actual training plan with an agenda mapped to a schedule to go in, train, and get out, I'd lean to approve it.

But I'd be sure to take the upwind tent.



I registered, logged in, watched the presentation.
No idea why this is behind a block, or why they were not simply posted on Youtube.
It's just Lt Col Lee speaking for ~30 minutes.

I didn't have any interest in registering for this chat room conference because...
A - Despite The Vid, I have work to actually do during the day.
B - I had no interest in artificially "+1'ing" a conference that will already have too many
empty seats and no shows just to inflate the numbers.
C - As I suspected, most of the content is old news, tech presentations for things CAP will never get near,
and wishful thinking that will never come to fruition, as per most conferences.

However for those of you taking the ticket punch towards promotion, good 'on 'ye. "Why not?" Right?

With that said, the presentation is primarily an exercise in SWOT and just presents the same questions
CAP has had since this debacle started. There's a lot of "we'll see", and "we're discussing", and as I suspected, the main focus is Summer 2021, which frankly I don't see happening anyway.

I was happy enough to see that "Virtual Encampments" are not yet being considered, but the idea
that a Type B is a fix for this really isn't going to fly.  Type B encampments are more difficult
to execute, while actually increasing the overall infection risk to both the participants and their families.

The elephant in the room is that this situation is literally like nothing else CAP has had to deal with in that not only is it potentially fatal, but lives well past the activity itself. And again, based on current thinking, a non-trivial percentage of the adult staff are at higher then average risk of complications,
while the cadet population are potential asymptomatic carriers.

Encampments, by design, already compromise immune systems due to the high-stress and ops tempo, especially for
the primary planning and cadet staff. Everyone involved with them has experienced "Encampment Crud" at some point during or after, as mixing people together with diverse strains of all manner of "blech" at a time when people are run down results in outstanding flus (or worse).

Then we have the (presumably) "well-meaning" parents who send their kids with everything from bad colds to
seizure disorders (not hyperbole) with nary a mention of the health issues, or without their medication, etc., etc.,in the name of "not wanting Johnny to miss out".  That, alone, has been an increasing problematic health issue in regards to these type of activities.  It's not out of the realm that parents will not indicate
that "Dad flies a lot to China and has a really bad cough." The week before encampment, especially if they
have an important (or important to them) job.  And if they are over 18, we're in the position of literally trusting a teenager, with divided attention span and allegiances, with life and death decisions that effect other people.

The difference in those cases is that, while they can be a HUGE hassle for the staff, the impact health-wise
is generally only for the member in question, and rarely, if ever, fatal.  Not so in this case.  And there's really no test that is effective with C19 because unless it's instant, you only know the member in question wasn't positive on the day of the test - there's no way to know that they didn't get it by bumping into someone in line on the way out of the test facility.

The presumed incubation period is too long to allow for vetting or quarantine at the facility itself, and again, all of the above are only the internal CAP issues, which don't even address the reluctance of service personnel to get their volunteer helpers infected, parents not risking their kids health, and adult staff who will also opt out for the same reason. You can't run an encampment with 10 people on hopes and gumption.

There was also mention of not allowing tourism from states in different status levels.  I'm sure all of you can
see why anything less then "no interstate participation" could become a nightmare overnight.  Would there need
to be "quarantine officers" who monitor a respective state's levels? And does anyone think cadets won't get
creative to game that issue? Who's at risk liability-wise if a member makes a bad call and lets someone in from
a Phase 0 or 1 state who then infects everyone and someone dies? Or for that matter even from within the state?
Or the state is late in dropping their level until mid-week?

Personally I don't think any overnights should resume anywhere until the majority of schools nationally have returned to in-face classes, but I'm also doubtful that idea will be shared by all.

As to vaccinations, well, good luck with that - CAP is unable to mandate them now, so there's no expectation they would do anything about it in this regard. As far as I'm concerned that's not CAP's problem. Right now, people choosing to make public stances and statements about personal rights are risking the health of others, But once there is a a vaccine or viable treatment, from there if people want to become Darwin test subjects, that's really not CAP's problem, and I suppose if the majority are inoculated then the herd immunity comes into play like with other similar diseases.

The comment at the end that the next year will be "grim" is probably as close to any prediction as NHQ can make
right now, but it doesn't really help in regards to making decisions. From my perspective, the membership
would be much better off if blanket calls up to certain times were made now, or soon, instead of the same
"death by 1000 cancellations" it's been so far this year.


Quote from: Spam on August 19, 2020, 11:08:26 pmice Commander, I did a rough plan for a smaller, multi weekend ES-themed Type B Encampment, which garnered some real interest, but we shelved it in case of future need. If we do reopen the bottle here, perhaps we need to consider a smaller model of Encampments wherein we... well, actually Encamp...

That would be a bivouac, not an encampment, unless NHQ significantly changes the structure and intent of the encampment program.  I know you know that, but making the point for those scoring at home.

Also, reducing the scale doesn't reduce the risk to the individuals (though it may statistically), and unless you
use all different staff, mini-encampments would actually raise the cross-contamination risk between activities.
Considering the current membership curve, not to mention the state CAP was in already, there are not
likely the personnel to be running Mini-E's on a scale that would be helpful (assuming it was a good idea to start with).


A couple of observations:

1.  Even if things don't get better by mid-winter, we will not be discussing completely virtual encampments.  It's just not encampment.  We will find other solutions if necessary.

2.  There is nothing in the 60-20 that requires encampments to be held in brick and mortar buildings.  Encampments could be conducted in the field using tentage.  I once went deep into the planning process for a Type A outside the contonement area of a military installation.  Bases often have "deployment training sites" with areas designated for tents, hardstand latrines, and classrooms.  My issues came down to finding enough GP mediums or larges, and figuring out how to get them put up and taken down.  Including a possible delay in taking them down if they got wet the last day of encampment.  (You can't store wet tentage.). I could not resource them in time, so we had to cancel.

Heck, you could indeed use individual tents ("BYOT") if you were so inclined.  It would be a challenge to meet the curricula, and I would love to come visit.  But the bottom line is that there is no rule that prevents a CAP encampment from being held in the field.  Obviously, even if the cadets spend the night in individual tents, military social distance would still be required in class, meal times, etc. until we leave Phase 3 of the remob plan.

3.  The encampment seminar at the conference was presented by Ms. Joanna Lee of the NHQ corporate team, and not LtCol Christine Lee who recently suffered a severe injury.  (Sing it with me:  "Here a Lee, there a Lee, everywhere a Lee, a Lee . . .")

4.  Once we all have access to an effective vaccine, there is no reason that we could not require a vaccination for all members attending encampment.  Indeed, my guess is that many institutions (Schools, military bases, etc.) will be requiring vaccination certificates.  But let's get an effective vaccine before we begin the "you can't make me get a vaccination before you let me do X" argument.

None of us knows when the virus conditions will change.  Like CAP uniforms, we can be certain that things will significantly change in the future.  Just nobody knows when.

Ned Lee
National Cadet Program Manager