Cedar Valley AA COVID-19 Blog Post

Welcome to the Cedar Valley AA Coronavirus blog: A live feed where information can be updated immediately by AA members located in Waterloo, Cedar Falls, and surrounding areas.

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ATTENTION!  May 13, 2020 Update

On Wednesday May 13th, Governor Kim Reynolds announced the lifting of some COVID-19 restrictions to all of Iowa’s counties effective on Friday May 15th.  It means more (in-person) AA meetings will resume at Cedar Valley locations in accordance with certain social distancing restrictions and limited to no more than 10 people.

For a listing of in-person meetings throughout the Cedar Valley and surrounding areas:  Click here for In-Person Meeting Schedules & Locations.

Otherwise, please……

Click Here for local ZOOM AA meetings on VIDEO

(schedules, log-in links, meeting ID #’s, & passwords)

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Or Click Here for local ZOOM AA meetings by TELEPHONE

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The purpose of this blog is to provide daily access to updated AA information during the Coronavirus crisis, and to inform Cedar Valley AA members regarding local online video conference meetings via the ZOOM app as well available online telephone meetings through ZOOM.

This blog is NOT affiliated with Iowa AA Area 24 or District 4: The sole purpose here is to share information on remote (online or phone) meetings. But for updated information on live (in-person) meetings at locations throughout the Cedar Valley and surrounding areas, please visit the Iowa District 4 website at https://www.aa-waterloo.org/

To financially support the National AA General Service Office (GSO) during this difficult time, please click here.

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TO JOIN THE LIVE CEDAR VALLEY AA DISCUSSION,  comment, or post information on this blog/thread, please do so by clicking the comment tab at the bottom of this page or by clicking this shortcut.

TO ADD YOUR ZOOM AA MEETING TO THIS WEBSITE please cut and paste the meeting invite info (date, time, Zoom link, meeting ID & password) into the comment thread of this blog by clicking this shortcut – OR – simply include the following e-mail into your Zoom invitation distribution:  TheToll@protonmail.com

Get Started with ZOOM Here!

To Cedar Valley AA Members,

For all of us, there has definitely been been a learning curve involved with the COVID-19 Crisis.  After Iowa Governor Kim Reynold’s March 17 2020 proclamation , no more than 10 AA members are allowed to gather together for meetings; and only within locations that are still having meetings.

As most of you know, many meetings at church locations are no longer permitted. With this in mind, it is important for the hands of AA to always be there. And, in this age of technology, we can still meet together online and by phone.

For those who are not familiar with ZOOM audio and/or video conferencing, here’s how it works.

If you have an internet/online device with at least audio capabilities, and, preferably, a video camera/feed…. people can go to this website

www.ZOOM.us

Or, since smartphones have both audio and video processing, an account can be set up through Google’s Play Store (for Android phones) or Apple’s app store.

Simply download the Zoom app from Google Play or Apple’s App store and set up an account (e-mail, user name, password, etc).  For anonymity purposes, consider using your first name and last initial as your user name.

As meetings are scheduled, they can be posted into the thread of this post (through the comment tab below or this link) along with the “meeting ID” and password. Or, if an e-mail address is provided, this information can be e-mailed as well.  

Then, about five minutes before the meeting starts, just call up the Zoom app on your device, type in the meeting ID and password…. and… voila!  You will see everyone via video feed and they can see you – if you allow your camera to remain on, that is. The meetings can also be attended using audio alone for those that choose not to be seen on the live video feed.

Whoever is hosting the meeting should adjust the settings so the feed is non-recordable and so it is NOT saved in the Cloud.  This means the meeting will remain anonymous. (Attention Current & Potential Zoom Hosts: Please review the suggested guidelines regarding the privacy settings on the Zoom app for purposes of anonymity by clicking here.)

The ZOOM app works great – even on cell phone screens because the AA participants will rotate full screen, but when anyone talks, the screen will remain on them.

If there are any local AA members willing to host Zoom meetings (& follow the suggested guidelines regarding the privacy settings as outlined here), please post the meeting dates, times, the Zoom meeting ID #’s & passwords into the comments of this blog (through the comment tab at the bottom of this page or this link).

As regular schedules and times are added, these will be posted under the “ZOOM Meetings” menu tab at the top of this website’s page.

For those who are not high-tech computer people, please call in through the numbers for the meeting times listed on the TELEPHONE link below:

Please check back often for more information.

In the meantime, when posting into the threads of this website (via the comment tab at the bottom of this page or this link) please do so anonymously by using a moniker or, even better, your first name and last initial only. Leaving an e-mail address is required but only your moniker/name will be seen on the post.

Thank you in advance for your willingness and service!

18 thoughts on “Cedar Valley AA COVID-19 Blog Post

  1. If there are any local AA members willing to host regular, or even occasional, ZOOM meetings or telephone meetings via FreeConferenceCall.com, please type the dates, times, and the pertinent meeting ID #’s & passwords into the comment box and hit the “post comment” tab.

    Again, when posting into the threads of this website (via the comment box) please do so anonymously (by leaving the “name” field blank), or using a moniker, or your first name and last initial only.

    Once regular meetings are scheduled, these will be posted into the Zoom & Telephone pages accessed by the menu tab at the top of this website’s pages:

    ALSO – any other pertinent information regarding Cedar Valley AA (announcements, live/in person meeting schedule changes, concerns, updates, etc) may be posted into this thread as well.

    Thank you in advance

    Jeff F.,

    Like

  2. Why, this new-fangled blogging conception may be another means of trudging the Road of Happy Destiny!

    Like

  3. To Current & Potential Zoom Hosts,

    RE: ZOOM MEETINGS: SUGGESTED GUIDELINES FOR PROTECTING ANONYMITY & DEFAULT SETTINGS ON THE APP:

    Now that online meetings are accessible, protecting anonymity is a priority in accordance with the AA 12 Tradition.

    These suggestions have been curated from the membership and online resources.

    The default Zoom settings run counter to AA’s spiritual foundation of anonymity. The meetings are publicly accessible and full names and faces are often displayed. Additionally, by default all Zoom meetings are recorded to the cloud. Turning that feature off is simple, fortunately.

    There are other settings in the Meeting subtab that can also be adjusted, such as disallowing remote control of devices, file transfer, data sharing with Zoom, and screen sharing.

    Here are some suggested settings for your meeting to use. Please note that most, if not all, of the settings below are not the Zoom default:

    Go to: Settings > Recording and click off the Local and Cloud recording features.

    In the Zoom Settings section, under the Meeting subtab:

    • Require Encryption for Third Party Endpoints

    • Disable Auto saving chats

    • Disable File transfer

    • Disable Feedback to Zoom

    • Disable Screen sharing

    • Disable desktop/screen share for users

    • Disable Remote control

    • Allow Virtual background (this is the Zoom default and allows the user to use a virtual background instead of the inside of their apartment, for example)

    In the Zoom Settings section, under the Recording subtab:

    • Disable Local recording

    • Disable Cloud recording

    • Disable Automatic recording

    Like

  4. ATTENTION: If you have a paid subscription ZOOM Account and would be willing to host a Horizons or Pathways institutional meeting on any given Tuesday or Thursday, WE NEED YOU!

    – Tuesdays 8:00 PM for Horizons

    – Thursdays 7:00 PM for Pathways

    We also need people willing to participate in these Zoom Meetings during these times as well: Every Tuesday @ 8 PM and every Thursday @ 7 PM.

    For those who are unfamiliar with the institutional meeting format, it’s simply a meeting where we AA members share our experience, strength, and hope with other alcoholics who are now in treatment. Our stories disclose in a general way how we were, what happened, and what we are like now.

    Horizons has the equipment and a Zoom account. They would rather join the meeting instead of hosting it and would like to resume the Tuesday 8 PM meetings as soon as possible during the COVD-19 shutdown.

    Still waiting to hear back on Pathways.

    For those who are able and willing, please respond to this comment or e-mail to: TheToll@protonmail.com

    And be sure to check back here often for Zoom meeting IDs & passwords

    Thank you in advance for your willingness and service!

    Like

  5. Join us in the Facebook group “Zoom Cloud meetings for alcoholics IOWA+” If you wish to chair a meeting from Zoom. God bless

    Like

  6. For those who would like to include non-Facebook users in their AA Zoom meetings, please post the meeting day, date, time, Zoom meeting ID & password into this comment thread.

    Also please indicate if it is just for that day and time only OR if it will be a regular meeting every week at that day & time.

    Or Zoom AA meeting hosts can add this email to the Zoom meeting invitation: TheToll@protonmail.com

    Thank you!

    Like

  7. From the Waterloo Courier – March 24, 2020:

    Black Hawk County looks at ‘shelter-in-place’ options

    County may issue its own “shelter-in-place” order if the governor doesn’t move to restrict non-essential travel to prevent the coronavirus spread.

    The county Board of Supervisors has asked its legal counsel for direction on how it could implement more aggressive measures than those already ordered by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds to prevent people from interacting…

    Like

  8. 3-25-2020 UPDATE:

    ATTENTION:. More Zoom meetings were added today and may be viewed at the “Zoom Meeting” tab at the top of the page of this blog or by clicking this link here.

    Please keep checking back for updated information. Thank you!

    Like

  9. UPDATE: Reynolds extends business closures to April 7, adds more

    DES MOINES — Many non-essential Iowa businesses will remain closed through April 7, an extension of one week announced Thursday by Gov. Kim Reynolds.

    The governor also expanded the scope of retail establishments covered by the order.

    Meanwhile, Black Hawk County added its first case of coronavirus under age 40, it was announced Thursday, while the state tallied 34 additional cases of COVID-19. It brings the total statewide to 179 positive cases.

    Also Thursday, Reynolds announced local officials do not have the authority to issue shelter-at-home orders for their communities.

    …She [Reynolds] also added to her order the closure of additional retail stores, including book stores; clothing and shoe stores; jewelry, luggage, cosmetics, perfume, and beauty supply stores; florists; and furniture and home furnishing stores….

    Like

  10. As of today’s date (3-27-2020), live/in-person/face to face meetings are still taking place locally in the Cedar Valley.

    I personally attended the new Westside 11:30 a.m. meeting every day this week (Monday – Fri).

    Westside has been honoring the 10 person limit, and at the 11:30 am timeslot, we’ve been averaging 3 – 5 people.

    We’ve also been honoring the six-foot rule, have not been bringing any food to the meetings, and have been disinfecting the tables and chairs afterward.

    In addition, this week at the 11:30 AM, we’ve had newcomers attend 4 of the 5 weekdays, so that is awesome. At least one of the newcomers had no internet access.

    Below is a listing of ongoing meetings in the Cedar Valley. It was linked from the District 4 website as of today’s date (please expand into a new window if necessary):

    Like

  11. Local hospitals prepare for potential COVID-19 surge

    WATERLOO – A sturdy tent has been erected outside UnityPoint Health-Allen Hospital to handle a patient influx. Across town at MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center, a specific unit is now earmarked to treat only those infected with the coronavirus.

    A referral-only COVID-19 testing center will open this week at MercyOne’s Kimball Ridge site.

    At both hospitals, crucial supplies are being preserved and medical staff cross-trained to keep all hands on deck…

    “Our incident command center has been in the process for weeks for all the what-ifs. We are preparing for a surge we hope doesn’t happen,” said Jack Dusenbery, MercyOne CEO.

    On Saturday, the Iowa Department of Public Health announced 63 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the state for a total of 298. Three Iowans have died from the virus as of Friday…

    Like

  12. ATTENTION Cedar Valley AA Members:

    The Tuesday 7 PM Serenity Seekers meeting held at the 1st United Methodist Church (at 8th & Washington Streets in Cedar Falls) has been CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE:

    In the meantime, the Serenity Seekers group will be meeting VIA ZOOM every Tuesday at 7 PM as follows:

    Please join the Serenity Seekers Zoom Meeting at this link:

    https://zoom.us/j/905361308?pwd=b0NiVEJkQkpOdmorZzB6UGtGQlFkUT09

    Meeting ID: 905361308

    Password: 040233

    (also see other ZOOM meeting schedules at this link)

    Like

  13. 4-2-2020 UPDATE:

    ATTENTION: A Monday regular Zoom meeting was added today! The Cedar Valley Zoom meetings may be viewed by clicking the “Zoom Meeting” tab at the top of the page of this blog or by clicking this link here.

    Please keep checking back for updated information. Thank you!

    Like

  14. UPDATE: Iowa schools to close through April 30

    …The governor also extended her closure order for non-essential businesses through the end of the month, and the Legislature announced it will extend its suspension through at least April 30 as well.

    That came as the U.S. Department of Labor reported a record 58,453 unemployment cases were filed in Iowa last week, pushing past 100,000 claims in the last two weeks.

    The closures are needed as Iowa sees more cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, Reynolds said at a news conference in Johnston.

    Like

  15. 4-4-2020 UPDATE:

    ATTENTION:. Two (2) more Zoom meetings were added today and may be viewed at the “Zoom Meeting” tab at the top of the page of this blog or by clicking this link here.

    Please keep checking back for updated information. Thank you!

    Like

  16. 4/7/2020 UPDATE:

    The new(er) 11:30 AM Westside Mon-Fri (weekday) meeting has been cancelled due to low attendance and a change in the work schedules of attendees. The District 4 webmaster has been notified to remove it from the latest coronavirus schedule as well.

    Like

  17. 4-9-2020 UPDATE:

    ATTENTION:. Two (2) Thursday Zoom meetings were added today and may be viewed at the “Zoom Meeting” tab at the top of the page of this blog or by clicking this link here.

    Please keep checking back for updated information. Thank you!

    Like

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