Are you missing the social interaction & conversations at the KASHA Secular Humanist Thinkers’ Café which used to occur at 8:30 am on the 1st & 3rd Tuesday of every month at Urban Fare Mission Park, but is now stopped due to COVID-19 concerns?
Then what follows is a suggested alternative, named Zoom Room Coffee Klatsch; this will be an On Line Discussion group that herein is proposed will occur on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month. All you need to attend the online Coffee Klatsch is internet service and a computer with audio and, preferably, a camera to show your face; you do, however, have to bring your own coffee or other beverage of choice. You do not need to get Zoom software, but instead just Log On to the unique meeting Zoom Web Link at the Date/Time that will be sent to you via email. The concept is that at each Zoom Room Coffee Klatsch the participants can choose what they want to talk about. To get us started there may be a couple of suggested discussion topics, such as for example: (1) During this COVID-19 shut-in period how are you managing to get groceries and staples, and/or do you need some help? (2) How long do you think the COVID-19 shut-in period will last, in Canada, BC and more specifically in the Central Okanagan? OR even, (3) Is Klatsch the correct spelling, or should it be Klatch, Clatch, Clutch or the original German word Kaffeeklatsch (i.e., Gossip over Coffee)? These are just a few ideas to get us started, but thereafter Coffee Klatsch participants will decide on discussion topics of interest to each of them. There is no requirement you attend any Zoom Room Coffee Klatsch online meeting (even if you are emailed the Zoom Web Link); you also can leave each meeting anytime you wish by pushing the ‘Leave Meeting’ button in Zoom. Interested?
If you are interested in participating in this ‘new’ way to socially interact in these difficult self-distanced and home-bound times, then send an email to Reg Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reg will respond confidentially to each interested participant to explain: (a) how Zoom basically works, (b) how the protocols for the Zoom Room Coffee Klatsch will or should work, and (c) answer any questions you may have.
Depending on responses, the tentative plan is to have the first or inaugural Zoom Room Coffee Klatsch Meeting on April 28th 9:00am, and then on at the latest by Tuesday, May 12th. It will continue thereafter so long as there are interested participants.
Proposed Topic of Interest – COVID in Canada, Learning from the USA Experience?
The attached PDF (click HERE) was prepared by an American friend, preparatory to the AZ Oro Valley (Tucson) Discussion Group I participate in on Tuesday afternoons. The PDF categorizes COVID-19 by State from March 1 to July 10, along with a couple of USA maps which more broadly show current COVID in the USA. I am sending out this Coffee Klatsch notice early so you have time to have a look at this PDF. With respect to the Oro Valley Discussion Group, following are the questions that were posed arising from this PDF.
PRIMARY QUESTION (for Oro Valley Group on July 14 pm): Do these State Charts, Maps and Data provide any insight into the current spread of COVID-19 in the USA?
Questions Arising Therefrom (if the answer to the Primary Question is Yes):
1) Have some States controlled the COVID Virus better than other States, versus those States where COVID is re-emerging. Have they done anything that is unique? Have they avoided anything that is important to their success?
2) Do you think the Party of the Governor (R = Republican, D = Democrat) matter with respect to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
3) Alternatively, are there potentially other things controlling the virus spread in each state (e.g., the size of the State’s Population; whether the citizens in a particular State seem more willing or self-motivated to wear Masks or practice Social-Distancing/try to stay Shut-in where feasible).
4) With respect to State’s Population, there are some differences in the rate of increase of COVID-19; for Example: (i) Arizona: 4000 new cases a day and only 7.3 million people is one of the worst; i.e., ~1 new case each day for every 1,825 people; (ii) Florida: 10,000 new cases a day and 21.5 million people ; ~1 new case a day for every 2,150 inhabitants; (iii) California: with some 39.5 million people has ~1 new case daily for every 6,500 inhabitants; finally, (iv) Rhode Island: with a population of ~1.06 million people (governed by Gina Raimondo who was Evan’s 2nd choice for VP with Biden) has ~1 new case daily for every 20,000 inhabitants. Do these statistics tell us anything about a State’s success in dealing with COVID19?
5) Finally, looking at the last 2 maps (pages 13 & 14), do they suggest the ‘mid-west’ States economies could be completely open, except for a few higher population urban clusters?
Returning to our own KASHA Coffee Klatsch, I do not suggest we discuss the above questions. Instead I suggest the following ‘Canadian’ questions for Tuesday am July 14:
1. Can we, as Canadians, learn anything from the sad reality that is now the American Experience re COVID-19; i.e., the USA has a population of about 331.0 million with 3,163,581 Covid cases and 133,486 deaths to 2020-07-12, which equates to ~4.0 deaths per 100,000 populace.
2. In contrast, in Canada with a population of ~37.6 million we have had 108,000 cases and 8,783 deaths to 2020-07-12, which equates to a death rate of ~2.34 per 100,000 populace. In short, on a comparative basis we currently are doing considerably better than the USA with respect to Covid deaths (i.e., their current Covid death rate per 100,000 populace is about 71% higher than in Canada), but can this ratio be maintained in Canada? If so, how?
3. Is Canada doing better because: (a) we have an overall better health care system; (b) our federal leadership on Covid has been more cohesive and well planned; (c) as Canadians we simply are more willing to follow the federal/provincial recommendations to wear masks, social distance and wash our hands, OR (d) are we just simply ‘lucky’? Which, if any, of these possible Canadian causes do you think are actually true? OR are there other Canadian causes that are not listed?
4. Finally, here in BC the current COVID stats are: (a) the entirety of BC has had some 3,053 cases and 187 deaths, and (b) the Southern Interior District where we live has had 202 Covid Cases and 2 deaths (as of 2020-07-10). We clearly are in a relatively ‘Low Risk Zone’ for COVID-19, but will this continue considering how few people seem to be wearing masks (based on my personal experience while shopping at Save-On Foods on Harvey) and I recently got a notice that the Parkinson Senior Centre was re-opening (where I personally will not be going any time soon). Does this make me a ‘Nervous Nelly’ or just Wisely Cautious (considering my advanced age and pre-conditions 🙂).
These are some questions I have; you likely will have others. My goal here is to continue periodically looking at COVID-19 so that we each can do our best to minimize our risk of catching this darn virus, waiting for an effective vaccine.
Best regards to all, and see as many of you as possible on Tuesday am, July 14.