On my mind this morning was the first email I'd read. It was from a fellow Rotarian asking when we would meet again in person. That’s the question of the day, isn’t it? Along with: When can I hug my mom again? When can I see a movie in a theater? When can I reschedule that trip I canceled last month? Do I really need pants?
I’d love to have answers. In June, in line with our Governor's staged plan for reopening, we were set to launch a hybrid meeting, wherein those who were interested could attend in person, and others could attend online. Unfortunately, reality forced us to change plans.
Right now, we are in one of the hottest counties in the hottest state in the most afflicted country in the world for this virus in terms of rising numbers of cases per capita.
When will we meet again? Not until that trend is behind us. In other words, not right now. That's it. That's all I have.
Our task force worked really hard to put that first meeting together safely. They surveyed the membership, established sanitation and mask protocols, bought forehead thermometers and sneeze guards for the buffet. Our caterer purchased hand sanitizing stations.
We worried that the experience would be less than ideal for those attending online. That's kind of a big deal to me. I've attended hybrid meetings recently for a subpar remote experience.
We worried for the people in attendance. Masks would have to be removed to eat, and even with social distancing, we’d all be breathing the same circulated air. What were the risks? It's impossible to know.
So … when will we meet in person again?
You should know, I am quite motivated to do so. I miss you all. I miss our sing-alongs. I miss the laughs, the hugs, and the banter. I miss catching up with all of you every week.
At the same time, I think of all of those struggling to overcome a potentially lethal virus right now, and those who have lost loved ones, and wonder which of our club members would be hit with it were we to open too soon. Which eight or ten people would we worry about not seeing in club meetings after this is all over were we to open up prematurely?
Bottom line, I don't intend for us to find out.
In the meantime, your board is working to make online meetings as engaging as possible, with great speakers and a crisp format. We're identifying new ways of serving the community and keeping in touch with each other. Our community still needs us, just like we need each other, and I believe we can, and should, rise to the ocassion.
I do look forward to our in-person meetings as soon as we can have them again. As always, if you’d like to chat, I’ll be available. Email me at any time. I appreciate your feedback and your friendship.
Yours in Rotary
President Beth