|Special Webinar: Zoom for Optimism
Using Zoom to facilitate Optimist Club business in the new world of Social Distancing. After watching the Zoom tutorials and learning how to use Zoom, let’s take some time to practice some key skills and talk about how to apply our knowledge of the technology to our Optimist Club business. Learn how you can use this technology to stay in touch with your membership, drive communication and conduct club business while encouraging social distancing and healthy choices.
When: 7 p.m., U.S. Central time, Monday, March 30Where: Zoom
Click here to register.
Get a leg up on this training, by clicking here for official Zoom video tutorials.
And that’s not all…
Coronavirus has also impacted our ability to hold Oratorical contests. We have provided guidance on how to hold an online Oratorical contest. In addition, President Adrian Elcock announced this week that we would not be holding the Optimist Oratorical World Championship in St. Louis, and are working to produce a fully online competition.
Our April 20 webinar will be devoted to training to hold an online Oratorical contest via Zoom. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, then the March 30 webinar will be a good introduction. Both events will offer participants the opportunity to ask questions.
Upcoming Webinar ScheduleAll Webinars are held on Monday evenings, beginning at 7 p.m. U.S. Central Time. French materials are available. Save the date! Registration links will be forthcoming. Webinars will be archived here for viewing later: www.optimist.org/member/LeadershipWebinars.cfm.
In light of recent world events, we are extending the deadline for submitting the Club Officer-Elect Report (COER) to September 1, 2020. Submitting. this report is still a requirement to achieve Honor Club. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
À la lumière des récents événements mondiaux, nous reportons au 1er septembre 2020 la date butoir pour la remise du Rapport d’élection des dirigeants de club. La remise de ce rapport demeure l’une des exigences à satisfaire pour obtenir le statut de Club d’honneur. N’hésitez pas à nous contacter si vous avez des questions.
Sr. Director of Leadership Development & Club Support
|My Fellow Optimists,
There is a Barbadian saying that goes “These days are funny nights”! I am not sure if the origin is Barbadian but it is something that I grew up hearing.
It is a saying that we use when things are so askew that we do not know if it is day or night. That’s how I felt over the last three weeks while leading this organization in the environment of unprecedented changes to our global landscape because of the novel coronavirus- COVID19.
Working closely with our Board and our Staff we recognized early that the virus had the potential to significantly disrupt our operations and a decision was taken by the Board to immediately put our members on notice and prepare our staff and headquarters to continue serving our membership.
Over the last few weeks, you would have received numerous communications from our Headquarters providing guidance to our members on their personal health and safety, meeting protocols, and projects and programs. Our intent was clear…COVID 19 is something that had the potential to impact us all in a very negative way and we needed to be focused and deliberate in how we prepared for it to ensure the safety and well-being of our members, our staff, and the communities that we serve.
With no end in immediate sight, and with world leaders declaring National Emergencies in their respective countries, it became clear that our organization had to take additional steps to protect the organization and its members and staff. As your International President, I and the Board of Directors, have made the very difficult decision to cancel our 2020 International Convention in Chicagoland. We have further decided that other large gathering activities sponsored by Optimist International would have to be cancelled or reimagined. As such, the Board has decided that we will also cancel the Junior Optimist International Convention and our Junior Golf Championships in Miami, Florida. We will also not host our Optimist Oratorical World Championships in St. Louis but, if practical, we will execute it as a fully online competition.
Our priority is the health and wellbeing of our Membership, Staff, the communities we serve, and those who participate in Optimist International events. All of us are susceptible to becoming infected; however, many of our members fall into the most vulnerable or high-risk categories as defined by the Global Health Experts. As an organization dedicated to health, we do not want to put any of our members, staff or friends in harm’s way. With our membership and competitors distributed throughout the world, we also face many uncertainties regarding travel restrictions and violation of laws.
To say that I am not devastated would be an understatement. This has been an extremely difficult period in my Presidency witnessing first-hand how our organization has been affected by this Global Pandemic called COVID-19. However, I am buoyed by the amazing support that I have received through prayer, our Board, our Staff, and our members. We have tried our best to replace uncertainty with certainty; to remove the pall of darkness and replace it with clarity of focus; and to remove pessimism and replace it with unbridled optimism.
It is Optimism that requires me to implore you to remove the veil of darkness and replace it with an armor of light. To see opportunity when others see threats. To reimagine our wonderful organization and prepare you to find new ways to carry out the work we have been called upon to do. We are not canceling Optimism. We are canceling some events to keep our Optimist Family safe. Optimism cannot be defeated. We are iMagining new ways to bring you imaginative and exciting programs during this time.
We are Optimists! Remain active in your communities. This is a time for Optimists to shine. It’s a time to re-iMagine how we serve our communities and those who reside in them. We might have to cancel our gatherings but we do not have to put a hold on our good deeds. It’s time to put our minds, hearts and souls together and find ways to bring optimism and service to our neighbors.
Yours in Optimism,
Adrian M. Elcock
Optimist Oratorical and COVID-19
In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the Optimist International Oratorical Committee has extended the deadline for the submission of District Oratorical Contest winners from May 15 to June 15, 2020.
Likewise, in light of the prohibition in many areas against large gatherings, please note that Club and District contests may be conducted by livestreaming if necessary. Guidelines have been added below that may help you set up a contest by using livestreaming. However, since it is possible that contestants may need to participate from home or other remote location, please be as flexible with the students as possible.
There are several online applications–such as Zoom meetings–that can be used to conduct online contests. However, it may be as simple as using a FaceTime app available on many cellphones that can often be displayed on televisions or computers. The key to conducting a contest using livestreaming is to make sure that it is conducted in a way that is as fair as possible to all contestants.
Currently, the Oratorical Regional and World Championships is scheduled for July 16-17, 2020 at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri. We hope that by that time travel restrictions will be lifted so that all of the contestants will be able to complete in person at the Regional and World Championships.
If not, we will reevaluate the situation as we get closer to that date.
Please refer to the main page of www.optimist.org for additional information regarding Optimist International’s response to the coronavirus.
HOW TO LIVESTREAM AN OPTIMIST ORATORICAL CONTEST
1. Zoom is the preferred platform as you can easily have multiple people signed in. To access Zoom–which is free–go to https://zoom.us and click on Host a Meeting at the top. Follow the instructions. It will ask you to list invitees and this is where you list all of the contestants and judges who will be involved.
2. Schedule contestants 10-12 minutes apart and have them sign into the meeting at their appointed time. This will make it easier to manage and will avoid having too many people on at one time. Judges should sign in but should keep their video off and should mute their microphones. The oratorical chair should be on and monitor as if it is a live contest.
3. Prior to the student speaking, have someone pan the room to make sure that (a) there is not a second computer or teleprompter of any kind with the speech written on it and (b) that there are at least 2-3 people in the “audience” so that the student has someone to talk to and the speech looks more natural. Contestants should find a room that is as quiet as possible away from outside noises.
4. Check the microphone level and make sure that camera shows the student’s entire body. Check with judges by having them unmute to indicate readiness and then remute. Switch to record mode just in case there are any problems and a judge needs to see the video. Give the signal to start and unmute the chair’s microphone and camera so that the only thing on the screen is the contestant. Other participants will be listed by name at the top of the screen.
5. At the conclusion of the speech, stop the record function and ask the student to leave the meeting. There is a button on the bottom right to click on. Make sure that the student has left before beginning the next contestant.
6. Have the judges score as usual and then relay their scores to the chair to record on the record sheet, tally and then have all of the students join in the call to learn the winners. You should allow at least 20 minutes after the conclusion of the last speech for contestants to rejoin. An agenda with the time schedule should be sent to the contestants and judges prior to the contest.
7. Test the system with the judges and students prior to the day of the contest.
Topic: Imagine a World without Boundaries
Everyone of these young ladies did an incredible job in writing, memorizing and delivering their speech.
Oratorical Contestants Left to Right:
Joana Peralta – Carolina Ibanez – Eiffel Sunga – Cassandra Uycrte – Giselle Geering – Faith Talamantez
1st Place Eiffel Sunga 2nd Place Faith Talamantez 3rd Place Carolina Ibanez
Joe Puglia, one of our newer members, took on the job of organizing and hosting a fantastic Oratorical contest!!
Judges: Sarah Rechif, Antwon Lincoln & Gloria McKearney – Time Keeper: John Reid
Sgt at Arms & Chaperone: Elaine & Duane Lucca
Bonnie Styles, Lt Governor for Zone 2, was also in attendance
Members brought fruit, crackers & desserts. Fun was had by all!!
Vicki Garcia-Golden, President
If you have news about meeting or event cancellations or postponements, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information for Individual Clubs
The Department of Parks & Recreation has cancelled all community events at the Provence House at this time.The Provence House until April 6th or until further notice.
3/19/20: Optimist Breakfast Meeting CANCELLED
3/24/20: Advocates Optimist Club of St. Madeline Sophie’s CANCELLED
3/25/20: 4:00 Board Meeting–5:00 Foundation Meeting at Vicki’s Home is STILL ON
3/26/20: 7:00 AM Optimist Breakfast Meeting CANCELLED
4/2/20: 6:00 PM Optimist Dinner Meeting CANCELLED
Based on the recent guidelines released by the San Diego Department of Health, President Dennis has decided that the prudent course of action needed to protect the health and safety of our members and guests would be to cancel our Thursday morning meetings until the authorities inform us that it is safe to reconvene. While meetings with less than 250 people are allowed you must still have enough space for each person to remain six feet from each other, which is not practical for our meetings. This is in effect immediately. Look for future thoughts on how we can stay connected until this passes
Imperial Beach will not have its regular meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 17. I will be sending a newsletter with club information so we can stay in touch. Im hoping we can meet the first Tuesday in April.Virginia Syverson
|March 13, 2020
With Members distributed across the globe, we are closely monitoring information regarding the recent outbreak of coronavirus, called COVID-19. As this situation has developed, Optimist International leaders have reached several decisions to protect the health of our Members, Leaders, Staff and the communities we serve.
Optimist International recommends that Clubs and Districts follow advisories, guidelines and rules dictated by their local, state, provincial and national health agencies. In the absence of specific recommendations, Club leaders should consider the health of Club and community members, as well as their family and friends before scheduling an event. Emphasize proper handwashing and hygiene to avoid transmission. Avoid handshakes and hugs in greetings and practice social distancing.Effective immediately, all District conferences and meetings should be postponed or canceled through at least April 30, 2020. All non-essential travel (both air and ground) for Optimist International staff, committee members and Board Members is suspended until further notice. Optimist International recommends that District leaders suspend all non-essential travel.Districts may consider holding Oratorical contests via livestream or other remote methods.
Being Optimists, we are planning for a successful Optimist International Convention to take place as scheduled, June 28-July 1 in Schaumburg, Illinois. We are also looking forward to our outstanding Optimist Junior Golf Championship in July 11-26 in Miami, Florida, and our inspiring Optimist Oratorical World Championship, July 15-17, in St. Louis, Missouri. If plans for these change, we will notify those involved immediately.
For more information about coronavirus, including precautions and advisories consult:
Public Health Agency of CanadaU.S. Centers for Disease Control and PreventionWorld Health Organization
Consult state, provincial, regional or local health agencies for specific information about your location.
The health of our Members, Friends and the communities we serve remains our highest priority.
On Saturday evening March 7, I received a phone call from Rick Lakin recommending that the district leadership take proactive action to protect the health of our members from the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19. I asked him to put his thoughts in writing. On Sunday, he sent me the excellent white paper that appears below. I share Rick’s concerns and I learned much from the clear and concise manner in which he presented this critical information.
I care for the health of our members and I endorse the recommendations that Rick provided in the conclusion. As District Governor, I recommend that the members and officers of each club consider this information and act in a proactive manner to protect the health of their members.
Our strength, our determination, our compassion, and most of all our optimism are the most effective tools we have to get ourselves, our families, the children we support, and our organization through this crisis.
California District 41 Governor
Rick Lakin, Calso41.us Webmaster
In late 2019, a flu-like disease transmitted from a live animal to a human in China, leading to the first case of Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19. In this paper, I will present information allowing the leaders of service clubs like Optimist International to evaluate the risks of continuing to meet regularly and preventing infection to our members from the coronavirus. Some of the information I present will be specific for Southern California clubs.
Coronavirus vs. the Flu
There are many differences between coronavirus and the seasonal flu or the common cold. These include the number of people susceptible to the virus, the rate of serious complications, how infectious novel coronavirus is, and how many people can die from the disease called the case fatality rate.
Coronavirus is called novel because it is new to the human population. There is no natural immunity in the community, and there is currently no vaccine. Therefore, everyone in the population is at risk of getting sick from the virus. For seasonal influenza, a large majority of the population has either had it and is immune or has received a flu vaccine.
There is a high rate of serious complications. Up to 15% of patients get pneumonia, and 5% require intensive care.
COVID-19 is very infectious. On average, one person with the illness can infect on the average four others, and it can spread from those who do not even know they have the disease to others. It can take more than three weeks for someone to have symptoms, during which they are contagious.
Coronavirus is up to twenty times more deadly than the flu. This varies by age and other complications. Fortunately, no young children have died yet.
San Diego and Southern California are densely populated, have many citizens who are uninsured or underinsured, receive visitors from many countries, and share a border with a country having a less effective health care system. Members are more likely to come in close contact with those who may have the disease but do not know it or can’t afford healthcare.
How Infectious is Coronavirus?
Contagious diseases have what is called a reproductive number, R0 pronounced R-naught. If a patient has the disease and is contagious, R0 represents the average number of healthy people whom he or she will infect.
The R0 for the seasonal flu is about one, and for COVID-19, the number is estimated to be 4.08, four times as contagious. If a person with the flu comes to a meeting, he or she could give the flu to one person who has never had the disease or who has not had a flu shot. Therefore, there is a low probability a flu sufferer will transmit the virus to another member at a meeting.
On the other hand, let’s say a person who has been exposed to COVID-19, has the virus, is contagious, is asymptomatic not feeling symptoms, and comes to a meeting. They may not even know they have the disease. Every person with whom they come in close contact might be exposed by a sneeze, a hug, a handshake, contact with a surface the patient touched, or even breathing in the exhalation near the patient. And every other person in the room is susceptible to COVID-19 because no one is immune.
According to an article in LiveScience from two weeks ago, “The number of coronavirus cases in South Korea has soared to about 602, according to The New York Times. More than half of those cases involve members of, or those somehow linked to, the religious sect, the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, where a female member infected at least 37 people.”
Don’t Test, Don’t Count
According to Worldometers.info, 447 US citizens have tested positive for COVID-19. Is this number accurate?
Here is a graph, again from Worldometers, from February 26:
South Korea has tested one-hundred-fifty times as many citizens and the United States, and the positive rate is about the same.
Part of the disparity is the lack of testing kits on hand, but part of it is a decision on the part of the federal government to limit the testing. If a citizen tests positive, they have to leave the workforce for three to four weeks. In my opinion, the government believes that keeping the economy going is more important than the health of our citizens.
An estimate from Dr. Chris Martenson’s Podcast on Peak Prosperity was that there are as many as five times as many actual cases as the number of positives, in other words, 2500 actual cases in the US.
To date, there have been 19 deaths in the United States out of 447 cases. That is a Case Fatality Rate of 4.2%. In South Korea, there have been 50 deaths from 7,313 cases for a rate of 0.6%, six-tenths of one percent. Why is there such a difference? Probably because the number of actual cases in South Korea is closer to the number of diagnosed cases.
The CDC guidelines limit who can be tested and, if positive, which contacts are tested. That significantly increases the likelihood that an asymptomatic person will attend a meeting.
Case Fatality Rate and Our Demographics
The demographics of our Optimist Clubs put our members at higher risk than the general public. A majority of our members are over fifty years old. Many are over eighty.
If a person with COVID-19 attends an Optimist Club meeting and infects several others, there is a probability we could lose one of our most valued long-time members.
Beware of the Second Derivative
Why is it essential to make a quick decision on this? As a mathematics teacher, I taught about slope as the first derivative and exponential growth as the second derivative.
If you start with 100 cases of coronavirus on January 1 and you increase by ten each day, on December 31, you will have 3700 cases. That is a slope of 10/1, the first derivative.
If you start with 100 cases on January 1 and you double the number every month, you will have 400,600 cases on December 31. That is the exponential growth of the second derivative. Think of the story of the chessboard and the grain of rice.
In the United States, the number of COVID-19 cases is doubling every six days. That means there could be a million sometime in May.
So far, the second derivative for COVID-19 has remained positive around the world, and it is not slowing down.
I have tried to present the facts from reputable sources, and I have been attempting to come to reasonable conclusions. I know it sounds alarmist, but I believe you need to consider this.
The captain of my submarine once explained that the moral of the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf was all wrong. If someone sounds the alarm, you should always listen, evaluate, and react.
Therefore, based on the facts and conclusions I have presented, I recommend the following:
- Call a meeting of the Executive Board quickly and consider this information.
- Suspend all Optimist Club meetings and events in CALSO41 until COVID-19 is under control, and there is a vaccine.
- Encourage members to follow all of the recommended precautions for COVID-19.
- Explore on-line alternatives for club meetings and events.
- And yes, wash your hands regularly