Denver and Bikaner Rotary Helped India Control CovidID

Fast Action by Rotary Clubs Denver 31, U.S. & Bikaner, India Helped India Control the Covid Crises

In April 2020, the Rotary clubs of Bikaner, India and Denver 31 were about to submit a global Grant request to Rotary International for construction of girls’ toilets in five schools in Bikaner, India, where both sanitation and student privacy were compromised.

In early April, it was evident the number of coronavirus cases were accelerating rapidly in Bikaner and the funds for school toilets had a more immediate use in treating the increasing number of Covid cases. The funds were diverted to a new grant, GG2013988, for purchase of respirators and PPE.
The new grant was submitted to RI and approved in May and funded in June. Equipment and supplies were received in the hospital in early August in time to meet peak infections. The equipment and PPE saved numerous lives.

On January 20, 2021, PDG Arun Prakash Gupta, project contact at the Bikaner Rotary Club, reported, “The COVID situation in our area is now at very negligible levels. People are very aware & conscious and are taking preventive steps. The government has started an intensive vaccination program. First, they are giving injections to healthcare professionals, and soon everyone will be immunized with the Indian made vaccine.”

Another example of Rotary responding to crises throughout the world.

Summary of Covid’s spread and control in India

Covid’s Spread
After India detected its first few hundred coronavirus infections in March 2020, Prime Minister Modi imposed a draconian nation-wide lockdown, hoping to break the chain of viral trans-
mission and contain the pathogen. By midyear, infectious disease specialists reported “It is totally overwhelming,” later claiming “November was the worst.”

Covid’s Control
By January 2021, New Delhi doctors were getting an unexpected respite with infections dropping sharply. The trend extended beyond the capital confirming coronavirus infections have fallen precipitously. Rural areas outside the big cities, home to 900 million of India’s 1.3 billion people, saw the same result.
Some doctors and researchers speculate that India’s crowded cities may be approaching ‘herd immunity’ even before a vaccine is widely available.

Rotary’s Role Controlling the Pandemic

Rotary clubs played a very quick & significant role in providing infrastructure, equipment & other material at different levels which has provided a big support to the efforts of Medical personnel. The role of Rotarians in creating awareness for safety measures has also shown effective results to overcome the pandemic. The indigenous manufacturing of medicines has played a vital role too.

COVID-19 & Colorado Wildfire Disaster Relief

The mission of the Denver Rotary Club Foundation is to jointly participate with the Denver Rotary Club and make a positive impact in our community through the grants we make each year.  Our grant funds are made possible through our Club fundraisers such as the peach sale, cash contributions from our Club 31 members, Red Bucket proceeds, Colorado Gives Day donations, earnings from our investment account, and our major fundraiser that we look forward to bring back this year.  Our grants emphasize our commitment to the importance and value of youth and education, disaster relief efforts, and international projects.

In 2020 we had two COVID-19 Disaster Relief initiatives.  The first one was in May 2020 whereby we combined the financial resources of the Denver Rotary Club, District 5450 and cash donations by Club 31 Members.  The result of that first effort was a total of $24,875 going to nonprofit organizations involved in helping people directly affected by the COVID-19 virus.

Thank you to Sid Brooks our Vice President and President Elect of the Denver Rotary Club Foundation for introducing the idea for a second COVID-19 relief effort.  The result of this idea was that your Denver Rotary Club Foundation Trustees recently approved $5,000 in a combined Disaster Relief Funding program whereby $2,500 was allocated to COVID-19 relief and $2,500 went to District 5450 to help with the aftermath of the devastation caused by the Colorado Wildfires that we experienced over the summer and fall last year. 

We are pleased to report that the recipients of these grant funds are:

Food Bank of the Rockies    $825
Project C.U.R.E.    $825
CU Foundation – Health Care Worker Emergency Fund    $850
District 5450 Colorado Wildfire Disaster Relief $2,500

One of the goals of Club President Debbie is to increase our Club’s participation with District 5450 and this helps to accomplish that goal through the Wildfire Disaster Relief funding.  It’s also important to add that we are aware of one Club 31 member who, in December 2020, personally donated $1,000 to some of our COVID-19 recipients.  This is all made possible by the generosity of our members who support the Denver Rotary Club Foundation and our mission. We continue to make a positive impact in the lives of people.  Thank you, Denver Club 31 Rotarians for your continued support to those in our community.  

A big thank you also goes to your DRCF President Carter Sales who not only lead our Disaster Relief efforts from our 2019-20 Rotary year – where we granted nearly $25,000 for immediate COVID-19 relief to 10 worthy organizations – but he also stepped up once again to lead our second relief effort this year.  Thank you, Carter for your dedication and service to our Foundation and those in our community.

A Spoon Full of Sugar!

Remember the song “A Spoonful of Sugar Makes the Medicine Go Down” from Mary Poppins?  Did you ever in a million years associate that with the “magic sugar cubes” that were used to administer the first oral polio vaccine.  Check out this story…guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

The odd connection between vaccination and ‘Mary Poppins’

By Harmeet Kaur, CNN

Updated 5:57 PM ET, Thu December 10, 2020

The song “A Spoonful of Sugar” from the film Mary Poppins was actually inspired by the polio vaccine.

The iconic song lyric from the 1964 Disney film “Mary Poppins” is a lesson in making otherwise mundane or daunting tasks more enjoyable.

But the idea for the tune actually came from a conversation the songwriter had with his young son about the polio vaccine — and the son of that songwriter is using that nugget of film music history to emphasize the importance of trusting medical professionals during the coronavirus pandemic.

Jeff Sherman, whose father Robert Sherman is one half of famed songwriting duo the Sherman Brothers, told the story behind “A Spoonful of Sugar” in a recent Facebook post that has since been widely shared.

Richard Sherman (left) and Robert Sherman (right) with Julie Andrews (center) hold their Oscar statues in 1965 for their work on the film Mary Poppins.

Sherman told CNN that as a child, he was afraid of getting shots and would often try to run away from the nurses who tried to administer them. So when he told his father one afternoon that he had received the oral polio vaccine at school that day, his father was surprised.

He recalled receiving the oral polio vaccine at school as a child. When he came home that afternoon, he told his father about his day.

“Didn’t it hurt?” Robert Sherman asked his son.

“I told him they put it on a sugar cube and you just ate it,” Sherman wrote. “He stared at me, then went to the phone and called my uncle Dick.”

Unbeknownst to Sherman at the time, his father and his uncle Richard Sherman were in the process of composing music for the film “Mary Poppins” — and had been struggling to come up with a new song. A song they wrote called “Through the Eyes of Love” had been rejected, and Walt Disney had asked the duo to give him something snappier.

Robert Sherman’s conversation with his son finally gave him the catchy slogan that he and his brother needed: A Spoonful of Sugar (Helps the Medicine Go Down).

Children receive the polio vaccine on a sugar cube in the early 1960s.

And the song now beloved by generations of children was born.

Robert Sherman has written about the same moment in his autobiography “Moose: Chapters from My Life.”

The oral polio vaccine that Jeff Sherman received was made commercially available in 1961. It largely replaced an earlier injectable version that required multiple injections and because of poor oversight caused cases of paralysis in some instances.

His anecdote illustrates how widespread the campaigns to administer polio vaccinations were in the 1960s — and how those vaccines helped eradicate the disease by 1979.

Sherman said he was watching CNN recently when he heard a health expert discussing how some people are hesitant to take Covid-19 vaccine.

The segment reminded him of the story from his childhood, so he took to social media to urge people to trust medical experts during this current pandemic.

“For anyone I know here on FB, trust the doctors,” he wrote in the post. “When the vaccine for Covid comes out, get it. We are all codependent on each other in this pandemic. Trust science and doctors and epidemiologists.”

He continued, “We are a small world and we will beat this enemy if we listen to those who know. Be safe. Wear a mask. Be kind and thoughtful and considerate to your fellow man and woman. We will beat this.”

Since sharing his story, Sherman said he’s received numerous messages from medical professionals thanking him for helping to build trust in the vaccine.

“I’ve gotten so many thank yous from doctors and nurses who are just so grateful that somebody said to trust them,” he told CNN. “That means everything to me.”