Being Prepared

My podcasting partner Stacy McCain has a post up with his take on overreaction to the Wuhan virus pandemic. He points out that some of us Boomers are better prepared (mentally, at least) to deal with evaluating how we should handle risk, and that we bring a different perspective from many younger folks, especially younger media people.

That’s true, but it’s also true that underreactiong to the risk can be dangerous. Indeed, it’s smart to avoid any unnecessary risks.

I possess two qualifiers for being at increased risk of complications if I contract the virus. I’m 72 years old, and while it’s been 16 years since the last one, I’ve had three heart attacks. The NASA facility where I normally work has gone to mandatory telework, but I began working from home as soon as telework became an option. I shop at odd hours or online to avoid crowds, and I take other reasonable precautions.

More important, I was prepared to be able to take those steps well before the pandemic hit. Experience with illness and minor natural disasters led me to put in place the resources i would need to operate at home under odd circumstances.

Stacy opens his post with a discussion of the Boy Scout Motto—Be Prepared, and he writes about a couple of points of the Scout Law—A Scout is Cheerful and A Scout is Brave. I’ll add a comment based on the Scout Slogan—Do a Good Turn Daily. Part of my preparation has included setting aside resources to be able to help others. We’re going to have to help each other through this mess.

Things I’ve Done

I’m an Eagle Scout, and I’ve continued to take part in Scouting as an adult.

When friends went to Africa for a year long mission trip, Mrs. Hoge and I took over as leaders of their Girl Scout troop.

When the Jewish Community Center in Nashville wanted to start a Boy Scout troop, I served as their Scoutmaster for a year to help them get going. (No, I’m not Jewish.)

Here in Maryland, I’ve served as a Troop Committee Chairman, a Cubmaster, a Unit Commissioner, an Assistant District Commissioner, a Venture Crew Advisor, and a Merit Badge Counselor. I’ve helped organize local participation in the Jamboree on the Air, an international Scouting event via amateur radio.

A Century of Eagle Scouts

One hundred years ago, Arthur Eldred became the first Eagle Scout. Eighty years ago, my father joined him. Fifty years ago, I joined them. Over the century, roughly two million Boy Scouts earned the rank of Eagle.

We’re a diverse bunch, but we have a couple of things in common, a dedication to a life of accomplishment and a willingness to assume the responsibilities of leadership.

The Eagle Oath

I reaffirm my allegiance
to the three promises of the Scout Oath
I thoughtfully recognize and take upon myself
the obligations and responsibilities of the rank of Eagle Scout.
On my honor I will do my best
to make my training an example,
my rank and my influence count strongly
for better Scouting and for better citizenship
in my troop and in my community
and in my contacts with other people.
To this I pledge my sacred honor.