I had COVID in November 2019: 2 days of unexpected flu-like symptoms. I thought it was a bad cold and was grateful it wasn’t worse, especially after learning what it had to have been, and having friends get a bad case of it, and then a good friend die from a vaccine.
When COVID-19 hit America hard in early 2020, it wasn’t just the illness itself (which was bad enough for many), but the fear that caused everyone to shut everything down for weeks or months and hope to avoid it. Quizbowl for 2019-20 was basically shut down from that point because the schools were all shut down.
Our community service project was to have a free COVID online tournament that attracted more than 130 schools throughout the U.S., Brazil, Panama and Chile. When it was over, we timidly asked, “Should we do this again sometime?” The answer was an overwhelming YES, PLEASE!
So we did two more tournaments with the same format during 2020-21, especially after our biggest competitor announced it would not provide questions for in-person quizbowl tournaments anywhere. They actually asked people if their tournament would be in-person, and if told yes, told the customer “nope.” This was a windfall for us, especially in red states where life has been pretty close to normal for quite a while, but even in Vermont, which was red in the Calvin Coolidge days but has been blue in my lifetime.
For 2020-21, quizbowl hesitantly opened in some places and our biggest customer almost went bankrupt for lack of funding. But in most places, schools plan to be open for 2021-22, and we are expecting almost everything to be normal again.
We have moved our office some 250 miles west of its former location, but we are up and running and happy to serve you!