By Dominica Pradere, past president, Rotary Club of Montego Bay, Jamaica
When Jamaica’s borders closed in March 2020 from the COVID-19 pandemic, I was packed and ready for a trip to Trinidad and Tobago, where I planned to connect with other Rotary members, as I normally do when I travel. Naturally I was sad and disappointed at having to cancel my plans. Lockdowns and curfews, as well as government restrictions limiting the movements of citizens, further isolated many retirees like myself as we tried to “stay safe.”
My club began meeting online immediately. I became aware that many clubs around the world were doing likewise, and my life was transformed when I received a spreadsheet created by the Rotary Club of Mount Lawley, Western Australia, Australia, showing details of clubs that had started to meet virtually.
By Jim Marggraff, Entrepreneur and Member of the Rotary Club of Lamorinda Sunrise, California, USA
Four years ago, my wife MJ surprised me with an unearthly question. “How can we keep Mars-bound astronauts connected with their loved ones on Earth?”
This question sparked a journey, though not yet to Mars… Instead, I embarked on a journey to understand social isolation on Earth, to develop new ways to connect remote loved ones using advanced technologies, to found another company, my seventh, Kinoo.family, and to become even more deeply engaged with Rotary!
By Temrah Okonski, assistant governor in District 7620 (D.C. & Maryland, USA)
Our district faced a critical decision on what to do about our annual speech contest on The Four-Way Test when the COVID-19 pandemic began to change the world last year. We decided to still hold one, but online. The results proved to be way better than we expected. And we’re convinced that with these few pointers, you can hold your own virtual competition.Continue reading →
A hybrid meeting setup with a webcam on a dampened tripod, a laptop, and a projector.
By Patrick Eakes, Zone 33 Rotary Coordinator
In our area, the global pandemic arrived like an unwelcome dinner guest. Within a matter of days after the first local case of COVID-19, my Rotary club’s meeting location closed, and gatherings of 50 or more people were prohibited (my club has over 100 members). Face-to-face Rotary meetings came to an almost immediate halt.
David Stovall and Stephanie Urchick, Rotary International Directors, and Director-elect Peter Kyle immediately set up online meetings for all Rotary members in Zones 33 and 34 to attend. They held these meetings twice each week and posted recordings on social media, setting an explicit example for district and club leaders of how they could maintain and strengthen the engagement of Rotary members even during a pandemic. Continue reading →