2020 - Accessibility and COVID-19

Once again heavily in the news cycle, COVID-19 has everyone’s attention. The reaction and policies vary from state to state, country to country. And with all that, my wife and I continue in our social distancing with as much isolation as we are capable of to protect her health. As I stated previously, with her Multiple Sclerosis medications, Angie is immunosuppressed, which means she is at greater risk from the illness. And without any available vaccine at this time for COVID-19, we have to be extra careful.

So, while many of you are getting out and socializing more, we are still finding ways to enjoy ourselves at home. We have discussed recently what we are looking forward to most when a vaccine is available and we can return to a more normal life for us. Things we just did in day-to-day life are now things we wish to do again soon.

  • Attending church in person – While it is wonderful to hear the worship and sermon each week via Livestream, it just isn’t the same as coming together, talking, singing together, experiencing the service, and being in each other’s presence.
  • Eating with others – We have enjoyed some take-out food, but that just isn’t the same as sitting at a table with others, talking, enjoying the atmosphere, and letting someone else clean up afterwards. We especially miss our weekly Writers’ Bloc lunches. We have been Zooming each week to stay in touch, but that is so impersonal. We miss the hugs, the smiles, the aroma of each person’s lunch, and most of all, the time just being with each other in the same place.
  • Face-to-face meetings – In the past, I would have been the first to say many meetings could have been managed with an email or quick Teams conversation. But now, I would enjoy sitting around a table with six or seven people, talking any topic just to be able to spend time and catch up with others. I miss spending time with my colleagues on campus. Zoom and Teams calls are effective but can be very impersonal.
  • Game night – I have done some roleplaying and computer games online, which has been enjoyable in its own right and lets us keep getting together. But we both miss having friends and family over for dinner or snacks and an evening of gaming. Having a spread of food on the kitchen island, a game stretched out on the table, and a house full of talking and laughing friends brings so much joy to our hearts.
  • Time with our daughters – And what we miss the most is time with our daughters. They have made the difficult choice to protect their mother and me as much as they can. They are currently student teaching in public schools, which means they have a much higher risk of exposure. So, they are living in apartments and talk to us at a distance at times through Facetime or phone calls, chats via open windows or at a distance outdoors, and via messaging. We greatly miss warm hugs, gathering in the living room for movies, playing games at a table together, cooking meals or baking, going out shopping, and more. So looking forward to an extended time over Christmas break where they can quarantine first then come home for a couple weeks to spend time as a family.

As you can see, what we are missing most boils down to relationships.
We are both introverts naturally, but we really do miss interacting with friends and family in person rather than Zoom and Teams meetings all the time. What do you want to do most when things are more “normal” again?

Accessibility and COVID-19 (Part 3)

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