There's always a lot going on at MVSA, so be sure to check this space often for the most current events and happenings. Don't forget to check the Event Calendar for a full list of scheduled matches, trap/skeet open shoots, and special events.

Coronavirus / COVID-19 Update for MVSA Members

MVSA's Dr. Thomas Badger, Professor Emeritus at UAMS, with an MVSA-relevant update to members:

Member Update: Coronavirus / COVID-19 

Terminology:  Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the official designation given to what we started calling the recent Coronavirus. COVID-19 is the official name of the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 (or Coronavirus).

How the Virus Spreads: Coronavirus is thought to be mainly spread by droplets formed from saliva and nasal secretions. So coughing, sneezing, and spitting can send these particles into the air and droplets can land on you and surfaces close to the infected person. Small microscopic particles within these droplets contain the virus, proteins, carbohydrates and other materials. These droplets containing the particles travel through the air short distances, about 3-6 feet on average. But a breeze or in a small room with a fan (even on low) the particles can travel farther. MVSA has small meeting rooms that are great for spreading the virus. The CDC recommends people do not get closer than 6 feet.

The smaller particles can be introduced into your body, mainly by entering through your nose, mouth, eyes, or perhaps a cut. A person can inhale air that contains the floating invisible particles, or touch surfaces upon which relatively freshly deposited droplets are sitting and then touch their face. The virus can live on surfaces for some time (the amount of time depends on several factors) and can be transferred from surface or person to person by touching. The virus can be transmitted at home or in restaurants through serving food or drink where plates, glasses or food are contaminated with droplets or particles from an infected person (cook or server). By the way, this latter condition can occur anywhere (in restaurants, bars, a neighbors’ home, or even at the MVSA meeting rooms or at match lunches). How many times have you been in a meeting and seen small droplets shoot out of someone’s mouth when they get excited and talk loudly or laugh, or when talking while eating a cookie or donut?  Maybe not much, but it does occur. 

Please note that even before COVID-19, studies have shown that restaurant workers (especially food servers) are major sources of spreading infections in the USA because restaurant workers rely upon tips for their income, and there is essentially no sick pay in this industry. This sets up a situation where infected workers come to work because they need the money (“no work, no pay)”.  So, experts believe this “may be another route for transmission” of the Coronavirus causing COVID-19.  Recent closures of restaurants and bars has somewhat mitigated this risk, but not entirely:  takeout food still contains some risk of contamination and exposure.

Not only does the virus spread by direct contact with relatively fresh nose or mouth secretions, but just coming in contact with surfaces recently touched by an infected person and then touching your face could result in infection. Thus, the virus can also be spread from hands to other people, or briefly on inanimate objects like doorknobs, utensils, guns, ammunition, targets, etc.  When your hands come in contact with so many people and surfaces on a given day, it is challenging not to pick up germs as you go. This makes washing and sanitizing your hands one of the very best ways to avoid contracting the illness.

Preventing the Spread of COVID-19: The best way to clean your hands is the old-fashioned way, an appropriate washing with soap and warm water. You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. You can estimate the washing time by silently singing the ABCs or “Happy Birthday” song twice while performing good washing techniques. One thing to remember about washing your hands: when you turn on the water, your hands contaminate the faucet. So, when you turn off the faucet after washing, use something like a paper towel or clean tissue to prevent re-contaminating yourself. As most people should know, a major source of medical complications, and even death, in hospitals is infections acquired while the patient is in the hospital.  It is now recognized that proper hand washing as described above reduces these hospital-acquired infections by as much as 75% and has led to significantly fewer infection-related deaths. So, reducing your exposure to infected people and removing the virus from your hands by washing provide the best protection and prevention of spreading disease. While hand sanitizer works when no soap and water are available, a good hand washing job is much better in preventing you from becoming infected and reducing the chances of you spreading it to others.

Masks are not recommended as an effective measure of preventing exposure to Coronavirus.

Hand bumps are not recommended because it can still transmit the virus.  Elbow bumps are better.

Please Note! If you do use hand sanitizer, the CDC notes to check the back of the bottle for alcohol strength (should be at least 60% alcohol) and apply the recommended amount to the palm of your hand. Make sure you rub the product all over the palms of both hands, as well as the backs of hands and in between fingers, so the entire surface area of both hands are covered and wet. Once it dries completely, it should be fully effective. (If there’s grease or a lot of dirt on your hands, it might help to try and wipe that off before applying). 

The main thing here is to use enough sanitizer to kill all the virus on your hands. Most people do not properly “sanitize” their hands or the surfaces they try to clean. For example, when using wipes to clean surfaces, such as at the gym or on airplanes, it is important to use enough to kill the virus. That means get the surface visibly wet. It’s common for people to use the same wipe over too large a surface and it is not wet enough. All this does is spread the virus around more and does not kill it. The Infectious Disease Community is concerned that this does not kill the virus, but rather leads to allowing it to mutate and become resistant to future attempts to kill it. So, it is better for everyone to use a little too much than not enough. Otherwise it will not be effective. It should be noted that many infectious disease docs do not recommend alcohol disinfectants because of the resistance issue.

Alcohol-free hand sanitizing products are currently selling in large quantities, as well, but they are not recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommends soap and water because the process is better at removing certain types of germs, including norovirus, than hand sanitizer, especially alcohol-free hand sanitizer.  The above measures to prevent COVID-19 are defensive.  MVSA members might consider offensive measures of prevention as well. So, people should stay home if they were knowingly or potentially exposed to infected people; recently traveled; feel tired; have a fever; have any symptoms of a cold or virus; or even if they are not feeling up to par.  The Coronavirus outbreak has now reached Arkansas, and it undoubtedly will become more significant than the cases now known about.  At some point, it may become prudent to encourage members who are medically compromised and/or otherwise medically vulnerable to stay home and not attend events like shooting matches to prevent spreading disease.  In an important way, it is the responsibility of everyone to help prevent widespread dissemination of the disease.

A special note about this disease. While a lot of information is known (such as the genetic composition of the virus; the potential source of the virus; how it is transmitted between people; something about its infection rate; etc.), there are many unknowns. For example, good data are not yet available on the time between exposure and when one becomes infectious to others. You would think that with millions of people in China being exposed we would know, but much of the data coming out of China was not reliable and the actions taken by China were extraordinary. Therefore, we do not know enough about this in the US where the strict measures taken by China are not likely, or impossible, to replicate. 

One of the most important things we do not know is how many people could have the virus, but not be symptomatic and yet be able to infect others. This puts more individual responsibility on each of us the be both self-protective and to protect our friends and neighbors. It’s our responsibility to take steps to prevent contracting the virus and to prevent potential spread of the virus should we have it or potential have it.  We do know that Coronavirus spreads easily and fast. With travel being so common now, the virus spreads faster and while Arkansas has been later that most states in having known cases, it is certain that the disease will be spread throughout our state. For example, places like Oaklawn Park Racing & Casino attract people from all over the country and these people eat at our restaurants, drink at our bars, places where the viruses are transmitted. Similarly, many Arkansas corporations conduct business across the country and the world. So MVSA members are likely to encounter the virus at some point.

A special note for MVSA:  We have a significant percentage of older members. For this discussion, older refers to greater than age 55. This is because our immune system starts to lose its effectiveness with age. Older and “medically compromised” people are at greater risk for Covid-19. There is a significant number of people who fit into this category. The data so far suggest that the infection rate of the SARS-CoV-2 (the percentage of people infected) increases with age, even in healthy people with no known disorders. Older people compromised with some medical issues were the most likely to contract the disease. Because sick people go to medical clinics and hospital, gerontologists are recommending that older patients only go to their doctor during this outbreak when absolutely necessary to prevent potential exposure. This may not be bad advice for everybody.


MVSA Window Decals Available

For the first time in a long time, MVSA window decals for your vehicle are available again!  New members receive a decal at orientation.

If you'd like an additional decal, they're available for $2 each.  Just contact Bill Kasdorf at  kazandpenny@sbcglobal.net

MVSA Gate Cards

Gate Key Card Replacement

Gate key no longer working?? MVSA has a new procedure to get a replacement key card to keep you shootin’! If your card doesn’t work, was lost, or has become de-magnetized, just send an email to MVSAsec@gmail.com. Your old card will be de-activated and a new one sent to you right away.