ARE YOU READY? Are you ready ... for the COVID-19 pandemic? Every morning our alarm wakes us to news on the COVID-19 Virus and its rapid case increase all over the world. As Toastmasters what are you doing to prepare for this? Fellow Toastmasters many of our clubs have been stricken by this news and unfortunately it lands right before renewal time for some clubs. What do we say to our members? How can we help keep our clubs going during this outbreak?
As VP Membership for our Speak to Inspire TM noon hour club we were lucky enough to have 8 members renew to have our minimum to be in good standing. Some corporate clubs aren't so lucky. With the economic meltdown and businesses suffering there is the possibility of layoffs and cutbacks. Some corporate clubs have cancelled their meetings until further notice.
How is Toastmasters International dealing with this situation and all the questions their valued members might have? I went online and chatted with TI on their chat line and at the time our districts in Ontario were not affected and should continue business as usual. That was Mar 7th before they declared it a pandemic. Now I cannot get on their chat line.
In a previous blog I reflected on a story about my experiences with health issues that prevented me from attending Toastmasters and events this past month because my immune system was at risk. Here are some tips on how we can all do our part in preventing ouselves from getting sick moving forward.
As Toastmasters we love shaking hands and we have recently discovered that avoiding shaking hands can help prevent the spread of germs don't you agree? That being said our club has come up with a not-so-secret handshake by simply tapping elbows as our greeting as a precaution. Or perhaps even better a bow. This is a great start and here are some more tips we can do as well:
- If you feel sick in any way STAY AT HOME and sleep it off and sweat it out. There is also a super cold bug going around. Avoid the hospital if you can.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after going out.
- Do not touch your face. It's amazing how we get into a habit of touching our nose, our mouth and rubbing our eyes with our germ infested fingers.
- Avoid eating in the car. Have sanitizing wipes to wipe down steering wheel and car interior.
- Tissues and every day necessities are priced through the roof but stock up!
- At our last meeting a lady wore gloves...smart lady! It was quite fashionable too.
- Masks are no where to found so bring a scarf especially outside if you have a cold so your lungs don't freeze leading to pneumonia. I'm sewing up my own masks made out of coffee filters.... just in case.
- Meetings and events are cancelling meetings for an unknown period of time. Stay tuned for email flashes and announcements sent by our district and most of all stay safe and keep your family and friends safe.
These are just a few tips that we can share with anyone and everyone you know... not just Toastmasters.
As the pandemic develops I will update what I know just to keep this blog filled with helpful information.
Above all keep a positive outlook and we can beat this outbreak and hopefully share our stories of survival ... at Toastmasters!
Your D86 2018-2019 Toastmaster of the Year, Tuula Redditt