Virtual celebrations are a COVID blessing, bringing many together during this time of isolation.
This morning I attended the funeral of the mother of my good friend. It took place in New York. I did this without leaving my own kitchen. I was able to see what was happening and hear every speech. I was able to offer my support and let her know how much I care. This is one of the blessings of COVID.
In the past year, I have attended three weddings in Jerusalem, two weddings in New York, and one wedding in Baltimore. I have shared special times with my friends and family that never would have been possible before this pandemic hit us. While some lament about how far apart they feel from their loved ones because of all the social distancing and quarantining we have been doing, I think it has actually brought us all much closer. Zoom has allowed us to be together in ways never before possible. While we may not be able to be with our family and friends in the physical sense, we have so many new opportunities to be together when it really counts.
The virtual world has come into our living rooms and our kitchens and brought grandparents, cousins, and friends into our daily lives. We can play games, read books, and watch movies in real-time with people who live hundreds or even thousands of miles away from us.
People have been so creative in ways they have found to celebrate. One friend was trying to find a way for the whole family to feel a part of her grandson’s Bar Mitzva in Israel. She had dinner delivered to each of her children, in whatever state they lived in, and at the appointed time, they all dressed up, turned on Zoom, and celebrated together. No one felt left out or like they were missing anything, and the Bar Mitzva boy was thrilled to have the entire family share his special day.
Another friend told me how her family celebrated Chanukah. Each night they signed on to Zoom to light their candles, open presents, and chat. They sang songs and ate their meals together. In other words, they made it work.
I have to say I enjoyed the weddings I attended on Zoom so much. I got a front-row seat and could see everything clearly. I got to speak to my friends and wish them well. I could hear the speeches and watch the dancing. I felt like I was really there. It was such a special experience.
I know that Zoom can’t replace a hug from a loved one. But sometimes, physical distance can bring us closer emotionally and spiritually. The fact that our friends and loved ones are just a click away brings the whole world so much closer. Being together is easier than it has ever been. Zoom has made it possible to keep in touch and share the big and small events in our lives.
We are human beings, and we were created with a need to be around each other. We can complain about the distance that separates us or rejoice in the technology that brings us together. I, for one, am grateful I have been able to join virtual celebrations or mourn with the people I love and care about the most.
This pandemic has taken a toll. There are so many things to complain about so many ways our lives have changed. But there are also things we can be thankful for and things we can do to make things better and easier for those around us. We don’t have to be alone, and we don’t have to feel so isolated. All we have to do is open up our computers and Zoom away. There will always be a friend waiting to share a smile, a drink, and a good laugh.