Two months into semi-quarantine, and it’s impossible to ignore the changes around us. Including my hair color.
Recently, I stopped fondling the broccoli at my grocery store and took a moment to look at the people around me. Everyone was wearing a mask. If anyone had asked us in February to predict this change, we would have shaken our heads and hurried to escape from the person asking the question.
Another change is the number of outdoor exercisers, especially since temperatures have been warming. In my neighborhood, people who used to exercise at work or in a gym are pounding the pavement; hurling balls and frisbees across playfields, primarily, to force their dogs to move; and kicking soccer balls against baseball backstops.
Given our state’s plan for a measured reopening, which calls for seniors to stay home until the last phase (the plan’s last phase, not seniors’ last phase), I have come to revere the creators of Zoom. For many groups of people, those who work in offices and those who have retired from jobs in offices, life has become less cloistered thanks to videoconferencing.
Like everyone, I’m missing our spending time face-to-face with friends. Still, thanks to Zoom, the mere fact that life can become virtually semi-normal at this time is a boon.
Before quarantining, my husband and I took a class called “chair yoga.” It’s like regular yoga, except that we can grab hold of the chair, whenever our tree pose starts to resemble a birch in a windstorm. Now we take chair yoga from the same instructor via Zoom.
Then there are the board meetings via Zoom. Business-like and professional, I’ve noted only one person sipping wine. And the two writing classes I’ve taken. Both so good I plan to sign up for a longer course this summer. Even the book group at my library, which hasn’t met for several months, will soon re-Zoom.
My writers’ critique group is a stunning example of the benefits of meeting on-line. When we met in person, we ate together, discussed the food, and interrupted the meeting to go to the kitchen for seconds, offer dessert or pass the wine. Our critiques are much stronger now that we can still eat and Zoom, but different meals in different places.
Then there’s my fun Zoom gathering with long-time friends. It’s more casual than all the others, as in the question someone asked at our last session. “Roberta, are you wearing your bathrobe?”
This bit of news is not something that occurred to me, but I read an article in The New Yorker about videoconferencing “changing the dating game for the better.” Apparently, singles are having serious conversations and getting to know each other before sleeping together.
Nine years after retirement, I’m still compulsive about completing projects. Part of my attraction to videoconferencing is that now, I can engage in multiple projects, including the second draft of my novel, and never have to spend hours sitting in traffic or waiting for a bus. And I can keep in touch with many people along the way. I believe videoconferencing will be essential if we seniors are to have any kind of social life over the next few months.
The one service I can’t get on Zoom is one that involves changing my hair color. My last appointment was in February. Tentatively, my next one is June 2, and if the salon is open, my appointment will not be virtual.