I wish I could say, the pandemic came and it went. But, I can’t. The first part is true. The pandemic, COVID-19, came, but it’s still here–more than 10 months later–more than 300 days. Do you want me to tell you how many minutes and seconds? I can! But, I bet a lot of you can too.
I could list about a million things wrong with the pandemic. Firstly, the amount of lives that it stole–cut short. Secondly, the pandemic stripped perfectly healthy people of their good health and left them with multiple complications, some that will last a life time. But, I don’t want to focus on the detrimental aspects of the virus because, believe it or not, some good things have happened in 2020 while the pandemic ran rampant across and around our country.
ZOOM happened! It brought folks together during periods of isolation. It brought students to their teachers in virtual classrooms. It prompted family gatherings for people around the planet to meet for birthdays, weddings, and holidays. It was the glue that kept us connected.
ZOOM opened many doors for me too. It allowed me to accept an invitation to speak to an audience at the New Rochelle Library in New York without boarding a plane. I acted in a play, called Bad Auditions on Camera, which will be available for streaming on December 12 and 13 at Broadway on Demand. It allowed me to attend writers’ conferences and retreats. I was able to take several writing classes offered by Storyteller Academy and Pitched2Published. I met many new writer friends through these classes and even joined an online ZOOM picture book critique group that meets every three weeks. We are the Villagers.
When the pandemic hit like a hurricane, schools closed down, teachers were desperately grasping how to present their lessons to their twenty-five to thirty students, and parents were anxiously fumbling with the internet to figure out how their child could attend classes. It was a mess. Frankly, it’s still a mess. Some schools are open, some closed, and some in a hybrid state of partially open, but mostly closed. Teachers were presented with the biggest challenges of their teaching careers.
Though I walked through the door of Room 109 for the last time in 2011 when I retired, I was compelled to help the younguns. I started up a ZOOM room for local children to engage in book talk. The group grew to include children around the United States and went on for many months until schools started to open again. I loved reading picture books to children then discussing the story with them. It’s what I did in my classroom every day for years. By the eager participation in the book talk, I guess my kids from KIDDLE Korner did too.
A few weeks ago, The Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona (BIAAZ), hosted me in their Coffee with the Authors series that they are doing each month. How exciting to talk about my book, Prisoners without Bars: A Caregiver’s Tale, for an hour and a half. I could talk forever on that topic. Great questions from the audience too. How did we do it? ZOOM, of course.
In a few weeks, I will be virtually visiting my former theatre in Nutley, New Jersey. The Nutley Little Theatre has invited me to do a selection of readings from my book, Prisoners without Bars, to their Friday night audience. I can’t wait to see my Nutley friends on ZOOM.
The Brain Injury Association of America has invited me to do a talk on caregiving for their Carolyn Rocchio Caregivers Webinar Series. My title, Live - Strive - Thrive: A Caregiver’s Mantra will be offered live on December 16, 2020. Register to get the link. Interestingly, enough, this webinar will not be presented on ZOOM.
I know that there are other social media sites that folks can use besides ZOOM, but this platform has worked well for me. You might also want to try StreamYard or Google Hangouts. Then, there's always the possibilities of FaceTime or SKYPE. Let your fingers do the walking/typing to search for your best platform.
I’m sure there are many more silver linings to this pandemic, we only have to look for them. What silver linings have you found?
See you soon.
Photos compliments of Bing.
I am the author of Prisoners without Bars: A Caregiver's Tale. It's the true story of how my husband almost left me--three times.