Home but never alone: Celebrating World Amateur Radio Day
By Lisa Leenders – Early last year, when the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) first pushed much of the world into lockdown, one traditional – some might even say old-fashioned – hobby experienced a spectacular revival. Amateur radio lets people interact socially, intensively, without ever meeting in person.
In those early days and weeks of the pandemic, radio amateurs reached out to each other spontaneously via the airwaves at the local, national, and global levels.
These days, local clubs in Europe and other regions are meeting on-the-air, more frequently than they have in decades, providing familiar, friendly voices, as well as regular check-ins on those, such as the elderly, who may be confined at home.
Special event stations, mostly transmitting from people’s homes, shared the message “Stay Safe” in dozens of countries and languages, reminding us all to help limit the spread of the virus.
Over the past year, on-air activity has reached unprecedented levels. Amateur radio contests are attracting record-breaking numbers of entries.
Today, the hobby is more popular than ever, with more than 3 million licensed operators worldwide, according to the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). more>
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