April 2nd 2020
 
My fellow Rotarians:
 
Welcome to the April 2nd 2020 Rotary Club of Calgary at Stampede Park Bulletin. I hope this finds all of you and your loved ones healthy and adjusting to “things” I don’t mean to unnecessarily alarm anyone - but I’ve been thinking......”
 
Not long ago our world looked very different than it does today. The shift has been so rapid that it feels as if the ground beneath us has given way. It is disorienting as if normal life is over there, but just out of reach.
 
The human brain is not wired to tolerate uncertainty, but it is wired to be alert to any threat. So - if you are feeling panic, it is natural. Blame your brain! For some of us, life has never felt more uncertain. According to a 2016 study by Neuroscientists at University College London, uncertainty is a more stressful state than actually knowing that something bad will happen.
 
The study pointed out that when we are anxious, we tend to equate uncertainty with the worst possible outcome. For example, after the 9/11 attacks, it was widely feared that another major attack was inevitable and might even be a nuclear one. Remember the “suitcase bomb theory”? That NEVER happened. When we’re anxious, we tend to treat the uncertainty as a bad outcome - when in fact - uncertainty is neutral - we don’t know what will happen.
We should look to what has happened in other countries with understandable dread, but we can also hold on to the fact that measures such as social distancing, quarantining, and travel restrictions are having an effect and at some point, there will be a successful vaccination. Without question, Canada and the United States have the best collection of medical minds on the planet. The most effective vaccine will be developed here.
 
Now, I do not underplay the seriousness of this virus, but the point is, nobody knows what will happen - least of all the media talking heads who have amazingly obtained their medical degrees in the last two months.
 
We need to come to terms with such uncertainty. We already live with plenty of it - albeit on a much smaller scale. Driving a car, being a passenger on a plane. Many of our day-to-day actions are not 100% risk free. We cannot totally control events no matter how much we try. And we certainly cannot prevent problems by simply worrying about them. In the end, listen to medical professionals and follow their protocols. If you must listen to the news, bear in mind that what they seek is eyeballs. Nobody watches when the news forecasts a beautiful warm, sunny day. Change that to a Category 5 hurricane on the horizon, and you’ve got eyeballs aplenty.
 
Please enjoy the bulletin. Continue to reach out to fellow members, be prudent with your health and most of all - be positive!
 
“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs….”
¨ Rudyard Kipling
 
Chas Filipski, President
Rotary Club of Calgary at Stampede Park