The Zoom Meeting was called to order at 12:02p with the comment that everyone was happy to see that Gary Sloan had adult supervision (his wife) with him today.  President (Lady Grizzly) presented individually wrapped sandwiches in her opening slide in honor of our speaker’s Covid-19 subject matter today.  Members gratefully appreciated President Lay reminding everyone that your camera is still on at all times so be mindful of your levels of dress and activity during the meeting.  Afterall, the RI President Mark Daniel Maloney wants to Connect the World but not that connected.  There were over 50 attendees today in honor of our esteemed speaker.
 
Kathy Gailey stepped into the late arriving Lourdes as greeter.  Kathy regaled us with a last-minute Thought for the Day:
 
“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.”
 
What followed was the flag salute and 4 Way Test but over Zoom it was more a cacophony of syncopated Rotarians trying to stay together but failing miserably. 
 
Kathy updated us on her plans to sell her Danville home and rent in Crow Canyon.  The kids are great and her girlfriend’s daughter (I think I got that right?) was graduating with honors from San Francisco U.  Congrats!
 
Club Announcements
  • Come out and boogie with the six clubs Virtual Dance Party with a $5 donation that will go to the Food Bank.  More information to come
  • Our May “Donate your Lunch Fees” will benefit the Trinity Homeless Shelter through Ruggies Restaurant who has supported Rotary’s Auction each year.
  • Lourdes has made face masks to distribute to those in need.
  • Priya is looking for recipients of donated Face Shields from Dupont
  • Dennis Harvey is exploring providing support for small caregiver homes.
 
President Lay introduced and congratulated Jocelyn Gao, President of our Interact Club and introduced the new Interact Board:
 
 
Celeste Paapanen             President
Kimi Shirai                       Logistics VP
Thomas Files                    Communications VP
Roshni Aradhya                Secretary
Danielle Lee                      Treasurer
Cindy Zhu                          Fundraising Coordinator
Stephanie Li                      Fundraising Coordinator
Audrey Zang                      Projects Coordinator
Kaitlyn Perry                     Projects Coordinator
Michelle Nguyen              Publicist
Tanya Belani                     Intern
Stephanie Lau                   Intern
 
Guatemala, Zacalapa Project
Karen McNamara gave a presentation to follow-up on the San Ramon Rotary Club’s efforts to support a student in this rural town to achieve his educational goals.  The town is a 5.5-hour drive from Guatemala City.  It is rural town without electricity and little opportunity for advancement without education.  SRR Club provides a $400 grant to support Genson Agustina Tino Toj, a Seventh-grade graduate.  Genson sent a heartwarming thank you letter to the club referring to the Rotarians as “godparents”.  He shared that with patience and intelligence he expects to realize his dreams of being educated and pursue a profession.  While education is “free” in Guatemala, the cost of uniforms, books and transportation are not included in this “free education”.  Our annual grant over a five-year period insures that Genson will realize his dreams.  Karen portrayed the village and schools with a very informative power point presentation showing that there was no indoor play area for activities during the rainy months.  There is some effort to rectify this situation in a potential future grant to the town and school.  Great presentation, Karen.
 
Pat Joseph, M.D. Presentation on COVID 19
Our feature presenter was introduced by Gary Sloan.  Dr. Patrick Joseph is a pre-imminent board-certified infectious disease physician, an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at U.C. San Francisco and the former President of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. He graduated from West Virginia School of Medicine.  He did his specialty training in Infectious Diseases at the University of California in San Francisco and has been actively involved with epidemiology, teaching, and private practice in California for the past 30 years.  Dr Joseph has a private practice in Infectious Disease and Travel Medicine in San Ramon and has been closely involved with diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of vaccine-preventable diseases. He is also the Medical Director of 4 commercial biotech laboratories.
 
Dr. Joseph has received numerous awards and honors.  In 2017 he received the prestigious Society Citation in recognition of exemplary contribution to the Infectious Disease Community. Dr. Joseph has also been named as one of America’s Top Physicians and among the “Best Physicians in America” several times.
 
Dr. Joseph began by thanking the club’s efforts in Guatemala, sharing that he had visited this remote village during his travels and he thought Karen represented the towns challenges very well. 
Introduction to COVID-19
 
Dr. Joseph began by showing a picture of the “crown” virus suggesting that it looked less like a crown than a sea urchin.  He humorously suggested that he might not have named after a beer but he was not involved in the nomenclature of the virus. The source of this and other coronaviruses is from a bat that may have originated from any number of places but, in any event, mutated to make it possible for it to infect a human host.  There have been 4.5 million cases and 300,000 deaths around the world.  The reported 3-5% mortality rate is probably overstated due to the number of unreported and non-symptomatic cases.
 
Medical Epidemiology 101
Quarantine has been used over the centuries to combat pandemics.  It is really the only tool in the absence of a treatment or cure.  In fact, Ebola was eradicated as a result of quarantine efforts.  But in the case of Covid-19, the spread of the virus occurred before effective quarantine efforts could be implemented to stop its spread resulting in efforts to mitigate the disease.  Basic epidemiologic principles dictate that we must “measure, change, re-measure” to make gains in controlling the most negative effects of the virus.  This is why testing is so important to establish a baseline, introduce a change (such as opening selected worksites), and measuring the change to make adjustments in safe transition strategies.
 
Testing
There are two types of testing:  1) PCR and 2) Antibody.  PCR testing involves a nasal swab inserted 4 inches into the nasal cavity to obtain a sample.  This will provide an indication of whether or not you are infected.  You will remain “positive” during a relatively short interval.  Antibody testing is suggested after one has been infected which, if positive” it is likely the individual will be immune from further disease.  It is not known how long one might keep this immunity. 
 
Despite what is heard in the media, Dr. Joseph shared that PCR testing is readily available in California but requires a physician’s order.  Generally, those with symptoms are health care workers are getting tested.   While there is a home Covid 19 test kit on the market for $120, Dr. Joseph did not endorse getting this kit preferring to rely on trained technicians to obtain the lab sample.
 
Masks
There are two types of masks: 1) N95 respirator which protects both the person wearing the mask and those around him/her.   A paper or material mask only filters exhaled air, thereby protecting others from your potential infection.  Tightly woven masks achieve the same purpose of protecting others but industrial masks designed to filter inhaled air do not protect those around those wearing this type of mask. Quilter cotton is considered the best material for cloth masks.
Dr. Joseph indicated that high touch surfaces such as doorknobs should be disinfected frequently.  The main issue is to keep hands away from touching your face which introduces the virus into your respiratory tract.  Therefore, hand washing and the use of sanitizers frequently is key to protecting from infection.
 
Virus on Surface Longevity
 
 
Vaccine
It is difficult to simulate an infection without harming the host.  Vaccines use live virus, whole virus, viral envelop, particles or proteins as strategies to combat the virus.  The duration of vaccine effectiveness for the flu is 120 days.
 
Knowing that this scribe always kids Dr. Joseph as being from West Virginia, the good doctor concluded his presentation with posting how West Virginians fight COVID-19.
 
 
There were many questions from this “not so shy” group:
 
  1. Frequency of Testing:  A negative test is only good for one point in time. One should be tested if they have symptoms or have an unexpected exposure from someone with known positive test results.  First responders are generally tested every 1 to 4 weeks.
 
  1. Plasma donations:  If someone is tested positive, donating plasma has been shown to be beneficial to patients who receive it.   Generally, the person giving the donation should be free of symptoms for one month and have shown to be positive with COVID -19 testing.
 
  1. Virus on surfaces:  It is unknown if how virulent a virus might be on a surface over time
 
 
  1. Treatment alternatives:  Early on the use of hydroxychloroquine and heparin showed potential promise through anecdotal case findings.  However, the risk of cardiac toxicity has subsequently made this treatment has no proven clinical value.   Remdesivir is currently available under emergency authority which appears to reduce recovering time.  Scientists and physicians have also found clotting to be a risk in this disease, so patients will receive blood thinners during their hospital stay.
 
  1. Face Shields:  The effectiveness of face shields for protecting against the virus for individuals venturing into church or singing in a choir has not been tested as an effective measure.
 
  1. Silver as a metal and the virus:  Silver has been used for years as an anti-viral but not studies have been done regarding silver treatment of various surfaces have been conducted with viral cultures.
 
  1. Social Distancing: “It is almost impossible to get infected if you are outside and not directly coughed upon”.  Be aware of surface to hands to face contamination though.  Outdoor cafés with appropriate distance and use of masks plus careful handwashing are likely to be more common without incidence.   Walking, running and recreating outdoors has a low risk of spreading the disease.
 
  1. Chris Gallagher ask Dr. Joseph if there are special social distancing rule for his good friend, Gary Sloan.  Dr. Joseph answered in the affirmative suggesting a separation of several states.
 
  1. Airplane Safety:  This is an unknown, along with casinos and Disneyland.  One can protect oneself with N95 mask and gloves.  As long as you do not touch your eyes with your hands and properly wash, you will not get infected through the eye membrane.  The danger is ‘sucking’ in virus infected air through the nose or mouth. 
 
  1. Hair stylists:  Dr. Joseph acknowledged that Hair Stylists are considered by many in our community to be an “essential service” but for now this service is very risky.  Use of an N95 and PPE for both client and stylist will mitigate the risk but not eliminate it due to the close contact.
 
Mayor Breakfast:  For those interested in hearing more about opening businesses in the community Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano will join San Ramon’s weekly Virtual Mayor’s Breakfast to discuss the current Health Order and framework for easing restrictions, Friday at 9 am.
 
Colette thanked Dr. Joseph for a superb presentation and indicated that we would be donating to the Discover Counseling Center on his behalf.
 
Good News and recognitions
Vera shared that her organization conducted a virtual walk on April 25 and reached their goal of raising $30,000.  Hopefully the Run for Education and our Auction will have the same good success.
 
Two birthdays were recognized:  Dennis Harvey (forever young) and Chris Gallagher (never passing his teens).
 
The President ended the meeting with a picture of wrapped cookies and a reminder to be safe. 
 
Next Week Educator of the Year recognizing the very best of educators in our schools.  Gobind will be the greeter.
 
The meeting was adjourned at 1:10p
 
Respectfully submitted,
 
Gary Sloan
Scribe