The ZOOM Society
Mary Kay Dauria
Cancer Research Advocate
Six weeks ago Zoom was not in my vocabulary as a proper noun. Just a brief six weeks ago I was learning to maneuver Zoom, use chat, block and unblock microphones and find best photo angles. Now my life is consumed with Zoom!
Here we go with a recap: zoom family visits with grandchildren and another with siblings, zoom social connections, zoom Sunday church, zoom lunches with friends, zoom charades, zoom special Olympic team events, zoom bible study, zoom call-to -action on social justice issues and legislative concerns, zoom medical. appointments, zoom classes, zoom graduations, zoom museum tours and events, and one of the hardest, zoom Easter dinner and egg hunt with my daughters and grandchildren! Long-distance relationships are challenging enough, but now zoom nightly wine dates replace visits too!! Him by a fireplace in the snow, and me in shorts and T shirt in a 75-degree breeze. (Nice, but surely nowhere near the same as being together).
OMG, I am Italian. All of my life has been filled with hugs and touch. Food and social gatherings are the center of our existence. Extending that family embrace to friends was a tradition embedded in our gene pool long ago and is passed from generation to generation (This may be a good test of nature vs. nurture) Viva La Familia – (genetic and chosen friends).The lack of physical contact is excruciating. Last week when I met my sister briefly in a parking lot to exchange some plants, she remarked it was the first time in our lives that we hadn’t hugged when we met. Sadly, she is right. A sign of the times, although hopefully temporary.
A larger consequence than the compromise to my core need to touch is that I am becoming an honorary a member of the GenX or Millennial generations! My guess is that younger people are not as impacted by this gigantic social distancing change since they are more accustomed to being socially distanced through technology than my generation is.
I long to walk outside without a mask and be closer than 6 feet to others, to traverse airports again and make secure plans for the future that involve a greater travel distance than my household plot of land. I am not complaining but explaining. I acknowledge physical distancing IS critical for safety, but it doesn’t make it easier. My greater fear is that it will become the new normal—people afraid to interact, to touch.
My hope is that 6 months or a year from now, our need for human touch will outweigh our fear of the virus and social distancing will be an unpleasant memory. Until then, shall we Zoom?