Posted by Dora Dye on Mar 08, 2021
One year ago, our world completely changed when the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.
The Sir Francis Drake Hotel where our Club meets was boarded up and remains closed to this day.
We learned to Zoom and taught our members how to Zoom. Sheltered at home, Zoom became the only way to connect with our members, our job (if we still had one), some entertainment and activity, and our school.
We knew people who got infected. Sadly, some of us knew people who succumbed to this horrible virus.
After several surges and a year later, we are starting to see some light at the end of a long tunnel.
How We Have Changed
The motto of Rotarians is "Service above Self". We help others first before thinking of ourselves. I believe that this year of unspeakable hardship has brought out the best of humanity among us. Not only did we generously open up our wallets, we also assumed the risks and volunteered at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, Rotary Meadow, the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, the Homeless Prenatal Program, and The Arc San Francisco. We supported these organizations financially. We still walked to end Alzheimer's. We assembled 4,500 hygiene kits and distributed them to the homeless throughout San Francisco. We donated blood.
We no longer take for granted such things as getting our hair done or dining out. I am so grateful to be able to get my hair done again. Never much of a fan of outdoor dining, I now love to sit at a secluded table next to a heat lamp. As a teacher, I am so glad to see students again. 
What I Miss
I miss strolling up Powell Street to the Sir Francis Drake Hotel where our Club was meeting regularly pre-pandemic. I miss being greeted by a Beefeater. I miss everyone gathering to socialize before our Club meetings and then continuing the dialogue during lunch. 
On the other hand, I have also appreciated the use of Zoom to attend these meetings. I do not have to commute. I can be back at work one minute after the Club meeting ends instead of an hour later. Yet a Zoom breakout room with forced conversation and a clock counting down the minutes before we are beamed back to the main room cannot replace the natural and in-person experience.
The questions are: Can we go back to our pre-pandemic life? Is it possible to go back or should we start anew?
What's Next?
We would like to hear your thoughts on the next steps our Club should take with regard to meeting in person again. Please free to contact any Board member listed here.