WHEF is postponing the “Bragg’s Invasion of Kentucky, 1862” tour, possibly until April 2022.
I have difficult news to share.
On Tuesday, September 7, 188 ICU beds were available in Kentucky. On September 9, that number was reduced to only 90 available ICU beds at present, due to a surge in COVID-19 and its variables, including Delta.
I have consulted with my Board of Directors, my own physician, my physician friends, and even some physicians who have registered for the Fall tour, “Bragg’s Invasion of Kentucky, 1862.”
We planned the tour several months ago when we thought this pandemic would be in the rear-view mirror, or at least on the wane. I planned a tour at an affordable price that included walks and outdoor lunches, but we cannot avoid the possibility of transmission on the bus, and that is the real problem. The bus trip from Lexington to Munfordville takes an hour and one-half. That would mean at least three hours on the bus both ways. The bus trip to Perryville takes over one hour, or two hours both ways. Although plenty of masks and hand sanitizers would be available, masks would not be of much assistance during such lengthy trips when we are sitting in proximity to one another. Given that we have over forty people on the bus (a virtual sellout), with nearly all the seats occupied, it would make not postponing the tour irresponsible. All of you are my friends, and I would never put you in danger of getting infected.
Many of us, including myself, are over the age of 70, and at substantial risk, whether vaccinated or not. There are variants appearing, such as the Delta, we have all heard about. I am informed that vaccines may not protect an individual from the variants.
The surge is real, and the virus is highly transmissible. Even if all the registrants are vaccinated, there now remains the issue of breakthrough cases.
The National Park Service at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace Historic Site and the Lincoln Boyhood Home Historic Site near Hodgenville recently canceled all public events, even where they were scheduled to take place outdoors, due to the number of Covid cases in that locale, and we have TWO stops planned there.
Some have suggested that everyone drive in separate cars, but I do not feel the roads we use to access the battlefields would be safe for driving in separate cars. Even with GPS navigation, the areas are remote, and GPS is not always available. That is particularly true of Munfordville as well as some aspects of the Perryville Battlefield.
We have determined it is safest for us all to postpone the tour until at least April 2022.
Note, we are not cancelling the tour; we are postponing it. When I begin the process of selecting dates for the tour, I will get in touch with each and every one you for advice as to dates available so that I can accommodate all of you. I will not offer the trip to anyone else until all of you can participate. Your payment for the postponed tour will serve as payment for the rescheduled one.
Thank you. Please be well, my friends,