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April-May 2020 | Regulars

Tony Black – Rotary International Director’s Column

Tony Black – Rotary International Director’s Column

Rotary International Director, Tony Black, shares his thoughts on Rotary’s part to play during COVID-19.

In the last few days, we are having meetings cancelled, fund-raisers cancelled. In fact, what has not been cancelled? The challenges we all face are enormous, and we seem to be helpless against the coronavirus – COVID-19.

I, for one, am not sure what to do – no Rotary, no sport and a situation and advice that is changing, it seems by the hour.

But we are Rotarians. No matter our age, surely, we can help our loved ones and those in our communities who may or do need our help.

Firstly, and foremost, we need to keep ourselves safe and heed the advice of our governments. Then I believe we should be looking at ways we can help – depending on our own circumstances.

If you need to self-isolate and have been told to do so, then please heed the medical advice. But if you are able to get out, so long as you are healthy, and not a danger to others, then consider ways of serving Rotary well.

But we are Rotarians. No matter our age, surely, we can help our loved ones and those in our communities who may or do need our help.”

Check with the older members of our communities and see how we can help them, such as collecting groceries.

Many are isolated whether voluntarily or enforced. Why not visit and have a chat – even at a distance of two metres on a doorstep. Work with your local foodbank who need volunteers and/or food.

As the weather improves, volunteer to take someone out to gardens and places of interest. Could you help our hospital staff/volunteers, assist in local care homes by providing games and music?

Maybe set up a WhatsApp group in your local community so people in need of help locally can ask. Use the telephone or digital apps to connect with those who are isolated. Please look at ways in which you and your club could help, even a smile can make a big difference.

We as Rotarians are capable of many things and one of those is resilience. Let us get out there and help our fellow citizens to overcome/cope with COVID-19.

Whatever you do, please stay safe and please follow government advice.

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