By Margaretta wa Gacheru (posted on Rotary Timeline March 15 2020)
DISCON 2020 or the District 9291 District Conference 2020 has been postponed until further notice, according to Rotary D9212 District Governor Joe Otin.
Following the Kenya Government’s directive that “all public gatherings and events that have large gatherings…have been banned,” DISCON 2020 has been put on hold but has not cancelled the annual event.
Multiple options are being considered, says DG Joe. He, together with his National DISCON Committee, remains positive and hopeful that once the ban is lifted, the DISCON will be re-scheduled.
“It needs to be rescheduled before mid-May since Rotary International’s annual conference will be taking place in June and we don’t want our DISCON to take place too close to it,” observed DC Elect Patrick Obath.
Ideally, Rotarians, Rotaractors and Interactors will know when the DISCON 2020 will be held by mid-April.
In the meantime, DG Joe recommends that all Rotarians stay in touch with their local communities and advise them on the essential messages that have come out both from the Kenya Government and the World Health Organization (WHO). That is, to wash you hands regularly since we know the coronavirus is transmitted not through the air but through material objects, be it by contact with another human being, a door knob or even the seat of a public transport vehicle.
We have also been advised to stay away from crowded places since these are where the virus can be most easily transmitted. And once you detect the symptoms, including fever and shortness of breath, you are encouraged to isolate yourself from others in order that you not be the one contaminating others.
“It is true that we are in a health crisis,” says DG Joe. “But now is the time to stay calm and follow the advisories. We shall overcome this emergency,” he adds.
In the meantime, the DISCON committee is considering options on the way forward for this year’s DISCON. “It has been proposed that we conduct the conference electronically, which we are considering,” says committee Chairman James Mwangi of the Rotary Club of Naivasha. There is also the option, once the ban on public gatherings is lifted, to reschedule the DISCON at the Sarit Expo Centre. The last and most extreme suggestion is to cancel this year’s DISCON altogether.
The final decision as to the fate of DISCON 2020 is to be determined very soon. In the meantime, as DG Joe says, “Stay safe, be sensitive to others and stay positive that we will overcome this crisis in the spirit of Rotary.”