I, along with all of you, am social distancing and staying safe. I did not imagine at the end of my presidency to be unable to visit lodges and see members. The pandemic was not in my plans when I started this journey as your president. I am going to be forever grateful that I and my secretary, David George, visited all the lodges in Idaho by the end of February. And all the lodges were great hosts to us. Thank you to everyone who made our visits a success.
I am hopeful we will be able to have our summer convention as planned in June. I know Idaho Falls Lodge has been planning the convention for some time. Our leadership at the national level will help your state leaders make the decision as to whether we will have the convention the first weekend in June. We all will be looking to the recommendations of our state and federal government and Centers for Disease Control. Until we know more I am not going to speculate about the need to cancel or reschedule.
Now more than ever we need to reach out to our friends who are members and remind them that our lodges have weathered many events including wars, depressions, recessions, and local disasters caused by weather, fires and floods.* We will still be here when the spread of the virus is controlled. Please remind all members that our lodge is first and foremost a charitable organization. Should we have members, particularly our elderly members, who need assistance to get to doctors, pick up medication, pick up their mail, shop for food, etc., maybe we can help. As we all know by now, the COVID virus is most dangerous for people over the age of 65.
Elderly members may also need social engagement at this time. Just someone to call and talk to them can have great benefit. Many people who live alone think of their shopping, weekly errands and church services as their social time. Particularly those members who do not engage with others on social media may feel the effects of not being able to see anyone on a regular basis. This is the time to call them on a telephone.
If you have neighbors in your community who are alone, this is a good time to get their phone number and find out if they need anything or just need someone to talk to for a few minutes. We all are going slightly stir crazy with the stay at home orders. A friendly reminder to someone that there are others out there who are thinking of them will improve their spirits.
ELKS CARE – ELKS (do not) SHARE (the COVID virus).
Stay Safe and Healthy,
Danny Tacket, President, Idaho State Elks Association
* 100 years ago, 1n 1920, our local lodge, #249, was just reoccupying our temple building after turning it over for use as a recuperation (quarantine) facility for victims of the 1918-1920 “Spanish Flu” pandemic and returning vets from WWI. The facility was managed by the University of Idaho Student Army Training Corps during that period. Elks cared then — Elks care now. link to article