Admittedly 2020 has been an interesting year for the RC industry, and not always in a prosperous way. The amount of new products released during the last flip of the calendar have been lessened, major races have been cancelled and the weekly gatherings of friends at the trailhead have been made illegal. It would be a fair assumption to say that this year has taken a toll on the industry but in reality it has afforded us something more precious than any new chassis or whiz-bang motor ever could, it gave us time. Time to be with loved ones in the shop just talking and wrenching. Every minute spent at the track or with a friend backyard bashing now means something more than what we may have realized in the past. Every second spent behind the wheel pulling trigger is a second we are not in a depressive state of worry about a virus we know little about. It is an escape.
Personally this year has been extremely difficult. My wife was diagnosed with COVID-19 at the beginning of March, news made worse by the dual diagnosis of Pneumonia along with the virus. At this point the virus was seen as a death sentence for individuals of all ages. When the results came back I went into hyper-cleaner mode, disinfecting every surface we came into contact with, washing sheets and bed clothes on as part of a daily routine, and using more disinfectant wipes in a week than I had in the last decade. I chose to cover up as best as I could and go to the grocery store to get essentials for the impending lockdown where I had a knife stuck into my back over a loaf of bread. Every day I wondered if that would be the day that I would have to see my wife succumb to the virus. Those times were extremely dark for me. I spent that time in a near-constant state of worry and panic with no relief, RC was put on the back burner, TV and movies lost their appeal, the only thing that my mind would focus on was the stress and ensuring that I was doing everything I could to take care of her. Thankfully she made a full recovery. It took several months but she was able to shake the symptoms and get back to a semi-normal routine.
Once the symptoms subsided I was able to turn some of my attention back to the things that bring me peace. I picked up the transmitter more often. I’ve spent more time helping others, both in person and virtually. Things are not the same but having a transmitter or some hex drivers in my hand takes my mind back to how things were before. It is my belief that more people need to take on this mentality. Do something that makes you happy. We cannot live in fear. Your neighbor isn’t the enemy. Going to church or the grocery store is not the gauntlet of danger that the media have made it out to be. Is this virus a very serious thing? Of course. Can we still do things we love safely? Yes, and this is what the majority of people are not realizing. The paralyzing fear that most are feeling doesn’t have to be. Basic sanitation and common sense practices go a long way toward keeping everyone safe. My advice? Enjoy your time and do the things that make you happy. Mental health goes a long way toward overall health and finding your own happiness is crucially important. Even if your locale is under a lockdown order get out to the shop and do some maintenance on your rigs. Pick up a book. Join a forum. Take an online class and learn a new skill. Play a board game with your spouse. Whatever it takes to give yourself some relief, do it. Remember, there is a large community of RC’ers that are just a few keystrokes away if you are feeling overwhelmed and need a like-minded group to talk things out with. That’s what this great hobby is for.