It’s remarkable how quickly events are moving related to the coronavirus.
Panic Buying. This morning, I drove to the supermarket to pick up a few cleaning supplies for the office. I walked into Vons and was stunned to see a huge line of people with grocery carts filled to overflowing waiting to check out. The line snaked throughout the store. I did a quick walk-through and shelves everywhere were empty. People are panic buying. It was unsettling.
Social Distancing. The news media has wall-to-wall coverage about the virus and everyone is being encouraged to stay home. Events everywhere are being canceled. This morning, I sent an email to everyone in our firm encouraging them to cancel face-to-face meetings. For now, all communications with clients will be done via email and phone calls.
Yesterday, I published a newsletter that association board meetings should be done in compliance with the requirements of the Davis-Stirling Act. One of the options was to encourage members to gather in a room and listen to the board conduct its business via a speaker phone. Given the rapidly changing circumstances, I am revising my advice.
Meeting Protocol. Boards should not encourage members to gather together. It pains me to say that, for now, boards may need to hold meetings via email and conference calls without member observation. Meeting minutes still need to be taken and published.
The situation is temporary and should not be abused. Where possible, boards should utilize conference call services where members can attend meetings by calling into a conference number without leaving their units.
Let’s hope the virus quickly burns itself out.