Our first Zoom Spouses Meeting was celebrated on April 30, and we had a great “turnout”! Present along with their respective spouses were Delene Bechtel, Jean Naughton, Jody Swinney, Jolee Gertner, Marjorie TeWinkle, Lore Kinton, Mary Romeo, Lynda Wood, Jeanne Nininger, Kathy Stewart, Gina Lesley, Lorrie (Levin) Dufour, and Dennie Schapiro. Singles included Shirley Lashmett, Norm Von Herzan, Harlan Pauley, Jeff Yeargain, Roy Schlemon, Craig Boardman, and Mitch Mitchell. Our newest member, Roger Summers, showed up a little late. Special guests in attendance were, Chuck Roehrig and his spouse Zita. Chuck is a member of the Long Beach Exchange Club, and is a Past District President. Last, but definitely not least, was Steve Pool, who deserves kudos for coordinating the Zoom meeting. Thank you so much, Steve! Twenty-seven participants logged into the meeting: well done, everyone!
President Ken began the meeting with an invocation, including a plea to help us to get us safely through the pandemic, and also a prayer for Carol Fracalosy, who is recovering from surgery. Bill Bechtel then led the group in the salute to Old Glory.
Secretary Richard Swinney requested that the ballot which he emailed to all members with the slate of officers and Board Members for 2020-2021 be completed and submitted to him as soon as possible. The slate was read electronically to the membership by our Nominating Committee Chair, Garry TeWinkle, over the past few weeks and consists of the following: President, George Lesley; President-Elect, Mike Gertner; Secretary, Richard Swinney; Treasurer, Dr. Bob Wood; Board Mem-bers, 2-year term: Steve Pool, Dave Schapiro, and Ross Stewart…. Future membership meetings will be planned using the Zoom platform, and Club members will be notified by email as they are scheduled.
Richard introduced our speaker, Dung Trinh, M.D., President and Chief Medical Officer of Irvine Clinical Research, focusing on Alzheimer’s Disease; he had recently presented to our group on that subject a few weeks back. Today, he gave us an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Orange County, of which we as Club members are all being significantly impacted. Dr. Trinh said that his organization, under the name “Tongueout”, is making masks available, at no charge to anyone; if interested, you can contact him at www.Tongueout.org to place an order. He stated that, in Orange County, we are flattening the curve with respect to the spread of the coronavirus, which means that the steps that we are taking to mitigate its transmission appear to be working. He noted that when outdoors, people should be wearing some form of facemask and exercising social distancing. At the same time, it is necessary that we need to open our economy and go back to work.
We will be seeing changes in business plans to accommodate the requirements that have been put upon us, i.e. reduced in-store tables at restaurants, social distancing in the workplace, etc. We have taken it seriously here in the OC because we have seen what has been going on in Europe, and in NYC, and we have been taking proactive steps to reduce its impact. Hospital Emergency Departments in O.C. and Long Beach have not been overwhelmed with the number of Covid -19 patients who are seen there. Dr. Trinh hopes to see an opening of our economy and our society sooner rather than later. What about testing? There are two types of test; one is the nasal swab (PCR) which detects the presence of active virus particles; and the finger-prick blood test (serology), which detects the presence of antibodies, indicating potential immunity. Of the serology tests, there are two types, IgM (short-term exposure shows up around day 5 of infection); and IgG (long-term exposure). These tests are not perfect; even negative tests may not be reliable. These tests are only available here only by authorization of a physician at the present time.
With respect to treatment and prevention, there is hope. Clinical trials for a vaccine have begun, and an approved product should be available in about 18 months. In addition, there have been reports of an encouraging response from the use of the antiviral drug, remdesivir, manufactured by Gilead, which appears to reduce the acute phase of symptoms by 2-3 days. However, we must stay the course to keep the curve as flat as possible while these products are developed and tested for safety and efficacy. Ultimately, we may be gravitating to a society similar to Asian cultures where we may always be wearing masks and practicing some degree of social distancing.
Dr. Trinh responded to numerous questions. Of interest, he stated that hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), which is used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, acts by decreasing inflammation in the body; it may be beneficial in a patient who already has the virus. Also, patients who have COVID-19 often have a loss in sensation of taste and smell. For more information, Dr. Trinh can be contacted at his email address, email@example.com; he is also available on www.Facebook.com/Trinhhealth and at https://www.youtube.com/dungtrinhmd
SPECIAL BOARD MEETING
President Dufour called a special Board meeting after the general meeting had adjourned. In summary, the Board voted to conserve the principal of our endowment fund but eliminate the inflation factor; which will improve our cash flow and allow the Club to donate funds to charities in need at the present time. The Board voted unanimously to donate $5,000 to the Exchange Club Family Support Center in Downey as an emergency request to operate during the pandemic (www.downeyfamilysupport.com); $5,000 to Share Our Selves in Costa Mesa to assist in their programs (www.shareourselves.org); $5,000 to the American Legion Veterans Emergency Assistance Fund (VEAF) for veterans in need (www.legion.org/emergency ); and Someone Cares Soup Kitchen, which routinely furnishes meals to the needy (www.someonecareskitchen.org).
For those of you who have not joined us at our Zoom meeting(s), I strongly encourage you to do so. This is a great way of communicating and keeping up-to-date with what we are doing!.....Until such time that we will again get together, I wish you all the best of health. Stay the course, and be safe!