I had a visit this week from a friend who lives in Canada and whom I haven’t seen in more than three years. Next week I will be visiting her in Thunder Bay where she lives. Also, if our schedules work out, next week I will also be visiting with some old friends from college. We stayed close after we all graduated, but over the years, when jobs, moves, families, and other circumstances took us in different directions – literally and figuratively – we gradually fell out of touch. Although we still exchange letters, photos, and family updates with our yearly Christmas cards, I can’t even remember the last time I saw most of them face-to-face.
None of these visits requires any travel, or violations of stay-at-home guidelines and restrictions. They are all visits via Zoom, which means we can see and hear each other in real time, from the comfort and safety of our own homes. It’s not the same as meeting in person, of course, and it doesn’t allow for hugs, handshakes, or any form of physical contact. Still, it’s a chance to see and talk to people I otherwise wouldn’t be in contact with right now, even if we weren’t confined to quarters.
While the coronavirus continues to devastate our lives in many ways, there are still small rays of brightness that manage to shine through the darkness. One of those is the long-distance connections – or even short-distance ones with friends and neighbors we can’t see in person right now – that many of us are making or strengthening by way of online platforms. Whether it’s meetings of clubs or organizations we belong to, regular check-ins with family members or co-workers, or reaching out to people with whom we’ve lost touch over the years, this is an opportunity to enjoy the company of others.
And I hope it’s one we continue to take advantage of, whenever we’re unable – for whatever reason – to visit with each other in person.
May 15, 2020
©Betty Liedtke, 2020
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