Chair’s Message, March 2021

March has arrived along with the supply-limited distribution of vaccines to combat a once-in-a-century pandemic. As we look forward to a demand-limited supply sometime in April, to be hoped, the Section has gotten used to planning virtual events for the membership and March has three of them. In the future, we expect many meetings will be hybrid events, with breakout sessions and some presentations online and others in person. But for now, we are all still stuck in front of our screens.

Events occurring this month include:
— Mar 12 and Mar 19 EmployMeDay
— Mar 18 and Mar 19 2021 International Energy & Sustainability Conference

New this year is a proposal sponsored by the Circuits and Systems Chapter to host a student design contest. The plan is to have the winning design(s) be given some form of recognition at the awards banquet in September, most likely a plaque naming the Student Chapter and the winning entrant. As I’ve often mentioned, we still look forward to the in-person Power Electronics & Microwave Symposium in the fall.

The Executive Committee is holding a full slate of meetings this year, preparing for a return to face-to-face social events among other things. I do not expect much change in the online calendar before late August at the earliest. Many models of herd immunity predict its onset somewhere between April and September. These models contain a tradeoff between deaths due to Covid and the time to herd immunity. As more people become infected, herd immunity propagates but more people die. Vaccination programs and social distancing remain the best tools we have, but people are getting stir-crazy with spring approaching after so long a period of isolation.

As usual, my final word is to stay safe, get a vaccine when you are able (I was finally able to get my first of two last week), wear masks and stay socially distant. But also, join us online for the scheduled meetings.

Stay healthy,
Arnold Stillman
IEEE Long Island Section Chair, 2021