Honorary President's Message

What to do?  What to do? 

The Grapevine is shared among all 6000 members of the Society throughout the world.  It may be read throughout America, as well as by members in Estonia’s Tallinn & Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur.  Members in Australia’s far-away Perth receive it, as do those in South Africa’s Cape Town.  Members in multiple branches in Japan and England can share in the activities of our Society by reading about their fellow members in the Grapevine.

But vaccination against the deadly Covid-19 virus isn’t shared as equally.  Russia & China may have offered vaccines to their citizens early on, but only a small minority in these countries have been vaccinated.  Japan is about to host the Olympics in July, but very few Japanese have received a first shot of vaccine.

Some of our members live in countries, like Taiwan, which rallied effectively against the virus.  But, as these words are typed in mid-April, our friends in India and Brazil are dealing with massive spread, resulting both in death and post-sickness complication.  The virus is mutating as expected, and the increasing number of Covid-19 variants are worrying epidemiologists.  The inability to get vaccines into the arms of so many others around the world threatens us all.

So, what to do.  What to do?  Each of us must become an evangelist for vaccine distribution.  We must encourage our neighbours, certainly.  But we also must reach out to national legislators.  We must speak to those in the scientific community who have a voice in demanding equitable, wider and faster distribution of the vaccines.

Until some form of global “herd-immunity” is achieved, unimagined future Covid-19 variants will imperil the ability to again sit at a table laden with food and wine, surrounded by conversation with friends from distant places.  We all look forward to the time when we can gather safely again in our great cities and countrysides.  But the essence of our Society is in danger.  In whatever manner you think best, raise your voice.  Speak effectively.  Spread the word to spread the vaccines.

As always, you have my very best wishes. Stay safe.

Dave Felton