We often find ourselves in times when life takes a different turn than the normal course. COVID-19 is one such challenge that stands in front of us. The issue has brought out the champion in all of you who are dealing with this pandemic in a variety of ways. In whatever capacity, whether you are single parent, who has young kids or a Manager who had to ask their team to work remotely, I salute your resilience in ensuring the safety of everyone around you.
At District 50, we are committed to making your Toastmasters experience not only the best, but also safe. We are empathetic about the concerns that you all have and would like to answer some of the questions that you may have. As we face COVID-19, we are keeping a close eye on the organizations and institutions that fall in the geography of District 50 on their direct and indirect impact on our members.
: The World Headquarters has allowed us to conduct our Area and Division Speech Contests online per their email dated March 12, 2020. The email can be read
. We shall be exercising the option to conduct the remaining contests ONLINE. However we also want to prepare the contestants and contest officials to get acquainted with the mediums to conduct the contests online. Hence we are moving the Contest Dates, until further notice. The latest schedule can be found
. We shall be reaching out to you shortly with a more detailed message around the mechanism that we are employing to conduct the remaining Speech Contests. We want to assure our members that our objective is not only to provide the best contest experience, but also ensure the safety and health of you all, which by far is and will always be our #1 priority.
: As of today, the Spring Conference will go as per the plan and will be held in Mesquite, TX on April 30- May 2, 2020. However we are closely monitoring the situation and shall keep you all updated, in case that changes.
: A lot of clubs are affected by the directive from the organizations that host the spaces for the club meetings. We would like you to discuss amongst your members to use alternate online mediums like Zoom, Webex, Skype, GoToMeeting to conduct your meetings online. District 50 will leave the decision on the clubs to decide how they would like to meet and what is best in the interest of their members. In case you need assistance in using some of the online channels, reachout to your Area Director, Division Director or the Senior 3. The District Directory can be found
: Our organization is highly agile and hence we are seeing clubs adopt alternate methods to continue their meetings. To ensure that you receive this uninterrupted experience, do reachout to your Club Officers to renew your membership for the April-September 2020 cycle. You can find the promotions related to renewals, listed
For detailed information about the Coronavirus, including prevention and treatment suggestions, please see the
website. Additionally, there are many preventative measures you can take to keep yourself healthy. These include:
- Avoiding close contact with sick people.
- Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Washing your hands often with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap is not available.
- Avoiding touching your face, eyes, and mouth to prevent the spread of germs.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Staying home if you become sick to avoid infecting others.
In summary, I would like to remind you all of your individual strengths that have kept you going all your life. These are tough times, but with your agility, resilience and caution, we shall overcome the worst.
In your service forever!
Gaurav Shekhar, DTM
District 50, Toastmasters International