Statement from BCUG President John Stampfel
regarding the effect of COVID-19 on club meetings

As the well-being and health of our members and the community at large are of the utmost importance and concern to the officers, Trustees and Workshop Leaders of the Brookdale Computer Users Group, we are taking actions in keeping with the global circumstances caused by the spread of the novel corona virus named COVID-19.

Effective immediately, March 13, 2020, all person-to-person meetings of the Brookdale Computer Users Group (BCUG) are canceled until further notice. Many of our public venues have closed to our use and canceled our scheduled meetings at their sites. This is in keeping with the decisions and declarations of government authorities. It is not necessary for me to go into those details in this notification.

Our cancellation of in-person meetings is not the same as canceling our meetings and workshops. As an organization whose principal purpose is to promote the education and awareness of information processing and related communications technologies to our members and the public, we will establish a program to utilize those technologies to continue our workshops and meetings online. We will host virtual meetings and workshops to the extent possible. This will enhance our capabilities beyond dealing with the current difficult situation. We hope that this will even enable current and new members to participate more than they may have been able to in the past.

This new way of operating may require some new learning for some, but may also support them in their personal lives outside BCUG. We certainly expect that that is true of all of our programs.

We will start by using a tool called Zoom. It is used for APCUG Virtual Technology Conferences (VTC). We plan to use capabilities beyond what the VTCs use, depending on the choices and capabilities of each Workshop leader who chooses to hold such online workshops. You, members, will be notified as you have been in the past, and will be able to check our schedule on our website. At this writing, Sandy Rand has stated that he will conduct the Tuesday, March 17, 2020 Access/VBA workshop using this technology.

The specific technology which we will begin with Zoom. Free personal versions are available and we suggest that each of you visit that site and create a free personal account. This tool works on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android phones. We will need to learn together how to use this tool so that we can continue to meet, socialize, learn and keep our club healthy. It is very important to maintain our contacts and interactions at this time of “social distancing”.

You will receive further notifications about either online workshops or continued cancellations.

Your continued support of the club, one another, and the Trustees and Workshop Leaders at this time is critical and appreciated.

Please make use of the Mailing Lists and Bulletin Board. If you need assistance with that, contact me via email. If your official club emails are from AOL, Yahoo or Verizon, please check your Spam folders as they have been rejecting or bouncing many of our emails.

Thank you for your participation and support,

John Stampfel
President, Brookdale Computer Users Group