Letter from District Governor Betsy Robinson
Letter from Rotary International President Mark Maloney
Dear Rotarians,
I am forwarding you the latest communication from our Rotary leadership. please distribute to your clubs.
I also want you to be aware of happenings in our district. Many of us are considering the risk of our regular weekly meetings. Consider carefully the risk in your community and other ways to meet, such as via zoom or go to meeting formats or Facebook live. 
Below is some information put out by the pastor of my church from a teleconference he participated in with Methodist Hospital doctors including an infectious disease specialist.
  • Coronaviruses are nothing new. They have been around for some time. COVID 19, however, is a new strain of the virus, never seen before it began appearing on mainland China several months ago.
  • This virus is highly contagious, and able to survive on many surfaces for an extended period of time. The rate of spread at this time is that every person with the virus will likely infect 2-3 others. That rate for the flu is 1.3.
  • People who have the virus are contagious some 4 days before they begin to show any signs of infection (and thus can spread it without knowing it). Individuals remain contagious for a period of 14 days.
  • There is no cure for COVID19, only the ability to treat and mitigate symptoms while the virus runs its course.
  • COVID19 poses little to no threat to the vast majority of the population, who, if infected, will likely experience only mild to moderate symptoms. However, for the remaining minority, this virus is deadly.
  • Because of the highly contagious nature of COVID19, and its devastating impact on limited segments of society, there is a high likelihood, if actions are not taken to mitigate its spread, COVID19 can overwhelm our medical infrastructure, with more patients needing specialized care at the same time than our hospitals can accommodate. Namely, because COVID19 causes respiratory distress, leading to pneumonia for many in the high risk categories, there can potentially be more people who need ventilators than there are ventilators to put them on.
  • The current measures being taken around us are for the protection of those for whom this virus is deadly, and to avoid a scenario where there are too many of the very sick for our hospitals to treat (referred to in many reports as "flattening the curve" - i.e., avoiding an overwhelming spike in the number of those needing ventilators or other specialized care at the same time).
  • It is likely many measures being employed for this "flatten the curve" strategy will be in place for some 6-8 weeks
Here are key points to remember when considering your personal exposure.
  • If you are sick or think you may be, please stay home.
  • If you are identified among those "at risk" for serious complications of COVID19, please stay home.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly by singing the alphabet song. this is about how long you should spend washing. Or if you are so inclined, say The Lord's Prayer or something similar.
  • Don't panic!
Many clubs in my area (Galveston county) have cancelled their meeting for the upcoming week and will be considering week by week based on the local authorities advise. 
My club has cancelled our meeting next week and has postponed our spring fundraiser from March 26 until October.
My district conference committee and I have been in talks with our hotel/venue to consider how to proceed with our District Conference in June. This is why we have not opened registration yet.
Stay tuned for more developments.
Stay well!
Betsy Robinson, DVM
League City, TX
C 281-451-4478
Rotary Club of League City, TX
Rotary D5910 Governor 2019/2020
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From: Mark Maloney & Holger Knaack 
Date: Sat, Mar 14, 2020 at 4:44 PM
Subject: Rotary’s Role in Battling Coronavirus

Dear Fellow Rotarian,

The COVID-19 coronavirus is affecting every aspect of our lives in real time, and this puts Rotarians in an unfamiliar place. As People of Action, we are most comfortable when we are fully engaged in the world – moving freely, meeting openly, and offering helping hands. These are very difficult times for people who, like us, are at our best when we are learning, growing, and serving—together.

We are also leaders in our communities, and these times call for leadership. In many ways, this also is our time. We have proven abilities to reach out and collaborate to offer immediate help to people in need at a rapid pace. These are precisely the skills needed all over the world today. The global effort against COVID-19 depends on actions taken in every country. Rotary has the unique ability to help improve those efforts in every community and every country.

Using all the technology we have at our disposal, we as Rotarians can continue to reach out and collaborate on big projects with Rotary clubs, Rotaractors, and Interactors. There are a number of examples where Rotary clubs are helping health authorities communicate best practices or provide needed equipment or support that have been shared with our leaders around the world.

As Rotary’s president and president-elect, we have been thinking of these issues very seriously in regard to upcoming Rotary events. As you may be aware, we have made the difficult decision to cancel two Rotary Presidential Conferences honoring our relationship with the United Nations- one in Paris, another in Rome. In the near term, we recommend that Rotary districts and clubs cancel or postpone meetings or events following the advice of national and local health officials.

We know that clubs and districts are seizing the opportunity to become leaders in their communities and are making better use of technology in this time of need. For example, a Rotary e-club in Italy held a live online session about COVID-19 awareness, a Taiwan club worked with companies and a pharmacy association to donate 1,600 bottles of hand sanitizer to the city of Ji-Long, and Rotary clubs in Sri Lanka helped upgrade software and hardware for the health promotion bureau to assist its social messaging.

We cannot know quite yet what path this virus will take. We know we can play a role to help “flatten the curve,” reducing the number of cases in the short term to allow our health systems to address this issue. If the collective global effort helps bring the situation under control, then we hope to re-embrace our core values at the 2020 Rotary Convention in Honolulu. Our time together will have greater meaning and purpose than ever.

Please know that we are taking a close, continuing look at our plans for the convention in June to make sure all attendees’ safety will be protected. We are following the lead of the world’s most trusted sources, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for their guidance. We want you to be able to make decisions about what is best for you and your families in terms of attending this year’s event.

In the meantime, this is an opportunity for us to demonstrate that Rotary Connects the World in innovative ways. We should be closely following the advice of the WHO and local health authorities. Again, this includes canceling Rotary club events and meetings in the short term to reduce unnecessary interactions that could cause infections. We can put a greater emphasis on the work we do in our communities by helping our less fortunate neighbors cope with the effects of isolation and fear, or by supporting our health authorities to address this situation.

We are dealing with this situation in real time. Please visit the rotary.org COVID-19 response page for ongoing updates.

This is an unprecedented challenge for nearly all of us. But it is also an opportunity for Rotarians to find new, meaningful ways to lead individuals and communities to connect and do good in the world.

We have never been prouder to be part of an organization that does so much to protect and strengthen our communities, at home and across the globe.

Kindest regards,

Mark Daniel Maloney
2019-2020, President, Rotary International
Holger Knaack
2020-21, President, Rotary International