So, on Friday March 13th it started. There were announcements about pandemic closures and case numbers and cancellations and warnings etc.

Our Soroptimist Peterborough business meeting on April 1st was cancelled (no kidding). We imagined that we would be meeting again soon, face-to-face. But alas, we started meeting by Zoom and it helped to keep us connected. Our club got the phone committee to contact members to check in on them.  We are a social group and missed seeing each other. We missed our “special” June meeting where we would present our Live Your Dream (LYD), Trent & Fleming educational awards, induct our new board members and announce our Soroptimist of the Year. All of this now was done by email or by zoom. We congratulated Karen Doherty, our 2020 Soroptimist of the Year!

Our fundraising events were postponed or cancelled. No Delta Bingo, Ten to One activities were limited to those that were not face-to-face events, no Fashion Show etc. We started to get creative. Some members donated $$ directly to SI Peterborough (we are a registered charity) and stepped up our efforts to support the gift card fundraising program.

We are a club that supports our international, national, regional and community efforts.  Members focused on what they could do in the local community to support our friends, families and partner organizations.

These are our stories …

Dianne became a barber to take care of her husband’s shaggy hair. Her services could have been extended to club members who also wanted a “buzz cut”.

Eileen’s story

Before the COVID lockdown, I had purchased a quilt pattern and some of the fabric to make the quilt.  I had all this time to work on the quilt but I hadn’t quite finished purchasing all of the fabric I wanted.  Because the fabric stores were closed and if I ordered online, they couldn’t guarantee I would receive exactly what I wanted, I decided to go ahead with what fabric I had on hand.  Because of this, I call it my COVID quilt.  It turned out better than I had hoped and it will be a first birthday present for my Granddaughter.  

Marney has been playing every board game they have and learning some new ones. “Almost every night after dinner we play one or more of them! Not keeping score of who has won the most games.”

Julaine’s church has been broadcasting over YouTube each Sunday instead of meeting in person. “I used to work on the computer to show the words to the songs. Now I’ve had to learn 6 other programs and a million steps so that the man (who really knows what’s going on and how to do it) can have a Sunday off once in a while. His 12-year-old son trained me. Thank goodness for patient, intelligent 12-year-olds.”

Dianne H says “Luckily, I have escaped it so far!”

Bev Mac’s story is more about “what I haven’t done, not what I have done ! All I’ve been doing is trying to follow the rules laid down by our highly respected Ministry of Health, Rosana Salvaterra who has had honourable mention bestowed by her medical colleagues for keeping Peterborough citizens safe from the spread of Covid19. It’s truly amazing that we have recorded under 100 cases in a city of this size. That says volumes about the cooperation of its citizens …and kudos to our essential workers.”

Catalina – “My best Covid19 moment was when I taught my 93-year-old parents to handle WebEx and Zoom so they could participate in the family meetings and virtual parties. It was amazing.”

The Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) was in need of Pandemic Workers so Karen is “volunteering to play that role in assisting with screening and walking patients and visitors to a designated area, all while wearing a mask and keeping myself safe.” Karen was selected as the 2020 Soroptimist of the Year and the plaque presentation was done by Marney, rather than at our June business meeting.

Terri (director and DIBI chair) sums up her past 3 months. “The Covid19 quarantine didn’t change my day-to-day life much as I work from home and spend a lot of time at home. However, it did give me a chance to reflect on the importance of friends and family.  Funny how you take just popping in to see friends and arranging time with family and friends for granted. Then in an instant, it is taken away. When something like this hits, it gives you pause to think how important all of these relationships are to you. While Zoom and other social media did help, it wasn’t the same as that integral human connection. During this time, we also had my partner’s mom live with us for five weeks after she broke her wrist and needed surgery. I learned to be more patient and caring with her as I had never really spent much time getting to know her. I spent quite a bit of time with her and had the opportunity to get to know her much better which would never have happened in ‘ordinary’ times.”

Our Club President Joan learned how to organize club meetings using Zoom. This was the way to hold Board meetings and club business meetings.

Marylyn participated in a virtual Murder Mystery event. A great reason to get all dressed up!

Finally, on July 8th, the new Board met at Dorothy’s home (outdoor patio with social distancing) and reconnected. We often take for granted how important it is to get together. It was so wonderful to see everyone face to face. We hope that we can hold our regular club meeting in September. And, maybe the next time we see each other we can HUG.