Rotarians - these are certainly interesting times we are living in. 
 
The COVID-19 outbreak is all over the media and it is difficult to ascertain the facts. Some believe that we as a society are not doing enough while others believe that we have been overreacting. I do believe that it is true that this virus is more deadly than the normal flu virus and it is more transferable. Therefore, at the risk of being accused of overreaction, I think it appropriate to error on the side of caution. The media is full of the normal precautions you should take, like wash your hands thoroughly, avoid contact and keep a safe distance from others, etc. These are especially important if you are at a higher risk: over 60, have respiratory issues or are diabetic. But we also have a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to stop or reduce the transmission of the virus. The sooner we can stop this outbreak, the sooner we can get back to normal and minimize the damage to people’s health, our communities and our economy.
 
As part of that, I have recommended that club leadership consider suspending meetings for the next few weeks. As an alternative, clubs may consider meeting remotely over the Internet. I understand this can be a poor substitute for an in-person meeting. But the work of Rotary is not going to stop simply because we choose, in the short term, to take these actions to reduce the spread of the virus. We owe it to our fellow Rotarians and our community to do what we can.
 
Facebook live can be used to do meetings remotely. Zoom, the platform that we use for many of the District meetings (https://www.zoom.us/), is another possibility. There may be a nominal monthly cost. If you really want to make your remote meetings look professional, Evergreen Rotarian Mendhi Audlin and her husband Shawn have put together an on-line course (https://www.whatifup.com/plan-b), with a nominal cost, to make your virtual meetings more of a production.  
 
Another possibility is making up at our District’s eClub One (https://www.rotaryeclubone.org/), Rotary’s first eClub. In addition, we have added information on the District website for those clubs that are meeting remotely and you can join any of these meetings to see and hear what other clubs are doing: https://portal.clubrunner.ca/50085/page/clubs-meeting-virtually  
 
Rotarians don’t like to take a passive role when there is a need for service. Therefore, we are also investigating ways that Rotarians and Rotary Clubs can provide service to their communities as we work through these difficult times - click here to view the Idea Page.  If you have suggestions on how Rotarians can help their communities, please pass that information on to me for inclusion on the website.
 
I know none of this is ideal. But we, as Rotarians, with our motto of Service Above Self, are great at seeing the bigger picture and helping make our communities, and the world, a better and safer place.
 
Yours in Rotary,
District Governor Curt Harris
DGCurt2019.20@rotary5450.org
 
DISTRICT 5450 CONFERENCE
 
This event has been postponed due to recent developments concerning the COVID-19 outbreak.
 
If you booked a hotel room, you must cancel your reservation directly with the hotel: 303-410-5000
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