Keeping in touch to remain social but distant

Derrick Myers

Blog posted

24th March 2020 Resident Blogger

We can blame technology for many problems like giving us the instant data on the latest deaths from Coronavirus, which either worries us or even scares us, but technology can also bring us closer together in difficult times.

Take for instance this Sunday morning, within twenty minutes we had Skype calls from our daughter and our son. The first was from our daughter who lives locally and had planned a Mother’s Day lunch but cancelled it, saying do not come out of the house, we will drop off your lunch for you to eat at home. Instead we had face to face chats – my wife and I, and my daughter and her husband, discussing our plans for the next three months. Using Skype means our facial expressions and laughter can be clearly seen which is really lovely. We also thoroughly enjoyed the pasta bake followed by tiramisu created and delivered to us by our grandsons!

Then our son who lives in Cheshire Skyped us asking about our health, telling us to stay close to home and to limit our contact with others. Being able to see him and talk about our lives brings us closer together and keeps us together as a family.

Both my son and daughter have working lives which require constant contact with their work colleagues and they both are using Skype to keep in touch; my son in contact with a Russian group as part of his work-related contacts. We have one grandson in Stornaway in Scotland, who is about to become a doctor this year and using online communication platforms like Skype, means that distance is no object – he often appears on our iPads with a cheery hello. Another grandson lives in Halifax again working from home but using Skype to keep in contact and, with the added bonus for my wife and I who are able to see our great grandson almost walking and smiling for us!

We are lucky in having the means to appear to be close together even though physically we are miles apart. When I first started using computers in 1967 never in my wildest dreams did I envisage the way the technology would develop and embrace so many people.

Yes, even in these somewhat dangerous times, Skyping family and friends brings a certain “we are all in this togetherness” which as an oldie, and remembering times in my teens, gives me confidence for the future. Both my wife and I do daily exercises and we have a large green area in the village where we can walk, safely keeping a distance from other residents. And last but not least, we have our iPads, where there are lots of interesting things to see and games to play.