← Back to portfolio
Published on

Line-Editing Life, Post-Quarantine - Part 2

In my last blog post, I was thinking a lot about the many unscripted changes prompted by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting quarantine. I focused mainly on the changes that have affected employers and educational institutions, wondering how many of those adjustments will re-write future policies. But work and education weren’t the only places where life has had to abruptly rewrite routines. Home life, social gatherings, family celebrations, and even dating have found new ways to keep up, to some degree, with the habits that would otherwise become stagnant.

Over the weekend, I attended a birthday for my best friend from high school who currently lives in California. (Happy Birthday, Tara!) When we were young, she always threw the best birthday parties, usually for her friends. They weren’t always huge gatherings, but they were meaningful and memorable. We haven’t been together for a birthday in about 30 years. For her birthday this year, she decided to try a Zoom birthday party. Attendees joined in from Iowa where she grew up, from California where she’s lived for at least 10 years, and she also had a friend join from Australia. (Hey, Dondi!) We all had our own drinks and sweets, and we shared stories about Tara while learning more about each other.

This Zoom party was pretty cool, but had we not been in quarantine, it probably wouldn’t have been a consideration. I only point this out because it is evidence of how our everyday lives have been re-written in a very short amount of time. Zoom birthday parties or cocktail parties or dance parties weren’t really a big thing before quarantine. High school friends would go off to college and build separate lives, sometimes in different parts of the country, or even different parts of the world, and we’d maintained minimal connections via Facebook and telephone. Likewise, families would often be separated by great distances with minimal contact. That’s just part of life, right?

When the pandemic took away all forms of social interaction, Zoom (and various other video platforms) came to the rescue. We all desired to live as close to normal as possible in our newly quarantined environments. Workplaces have modified to remote working conditions (when possible) and maintained contact through Zoom or Slack or Google Duo (to mention a few). High Schools, Colleges, and Universities are all using a variety of virtual learning platforms. Likewise, families and friends, whether they live far apart or are in the same town, have found ways to make the best of quarantine through virtual social interactions.

I repeat my question from yesterday’s blog post. How many of these quarantine-induced changes will bleed into post-quarantine living? I hope you are following my train of thought here. I think these changes have been terrific. Due to the pandemic, there has been a boom in virtual connection options. But I can’t help but wonder how many of these changes will stick. The day after Tara’s virtual birthday celebration, she mentioned to me that more people attended than she might have had at a physical birthday party. Light Bulb! Why not incorporate a virtual component to social gatherings for those who live far apart? It may not work in every situation, but I think that in the ways that virtual connections have improved the closeness of families and friends, these changes should be woven into our new post-quarantine normal.

0 Comments Add a Comment?

Add a comment
You can use markdown for links, quotes, bold, italics and lists. View a guide to Markdown
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. You will need to verify your email to approve this comment. All comments are subject to moderation.

Subscribe to get sent a digest of new articles by Jen Anne Becker

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.