The coronavirus pandemic changed so much: shelter-in-place and no more face-to-face meetings. At the beginning, we had no idea how long the pandemic and the restrictions would last, but here we are six months later with limited access. So, early on, Zoom leapt to our collective consciousness as the answer.
I had attended a couple of Zoom meetings before the pandemic for training for my book promotions, but now I feel like a pro having attended several meetings and hosted some. Here’s my experience with the amazing Zoom app and its connectivity to the world!
Early in our isolation, the recovery communities jumped onboard and started zoomin’. So, this provided the opportunity to attend meetings all over the world any time of the day—truly taking advantage of technology.
On April 3 – 5, I attended a Zoom recovery retreat with 450 participants, the first major recovery event during the pandemic for me. The organizers dealt with a few glitches, but what a boost that was! The attendees came from all over the world! Monthly recovery retreats have kept many people connected through Zoom, and I’m attending another one next weekend.
Weekly I have attended two recovery meetings. I have so enjoyed seeing friends I haven’t seen for months and staying active in my recovery.
Some of my regular meetings chose to do phone conferencing, but I didn’t like that as well as Zoom. It seemed people talked over each other more, and I liked seeing attendees. I do understand not everyone has internet at their homes, and I think that was reason for this choice.
As a service for the Albuquerque Square Dance Center, I have hosted monthly board meetings since April. I provided a tutorial for the first meeting for many first-timers, but I still felt some reluctance. So, I scheduled a practice session and several attended, getting their feet wet! Since then, those fearful first-timers show up easily and participate.
In the midst of the cancellation of all of our dance events, I faced doing a virtual book launch for my new book, Just Another Square Dance Caller: Authorized Biography of Marshall Flippo. At first, I thought I’d use Facebook Live for this event, but after research, I realized I could have a problem. We don’t have a reliable internet connection at our house, and that might cause an issue. Also, I wanted to interact with the attendees, and you can’t do that on Facebook Live.
So, I decided to Zoom instead. What a memorable evening we had! About thirty-five people attended, and I relished their participation and stories! We had people from all over the United States and one from Japan.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, we canceled our annual square dance festival, Hot August Nights. To keep our supporters connected, I hosted a Hot August Nights Zoom Party. Again, we had great attendance. My husband, Lin, and I were on from 7:00 PM until 10:00 with people dropping by, visiting and then more would come. Many appreciated seeing so many dancer friends.
Virtual square dances have taken the square dance world by storm during this crazy time. Lin and I attended a benefit dance for a caller who has been deathly sick. We hadn’t danced in six months and had never virtual square danced. We had to pretend we were dancing with another couple. At first, we struggled but improved over the evening.
Here’s a link to see a virtual square dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnRY_x_89FM&list=PLpOrf4KvYkjDwwsu0saQoJoYmvgbRDKnR
Again, we saw dancers from all over the USA and the world. Dancers attended from Australia, China, Japan and England.
There are so many possibilities with Zoom. I reconnected with a roommate who I haven’t seen in thirty years with a Zoom meeting. Then we added another friend we used to hang out with, and we laughed and talked non-stop last Sunday. I had to cut us off after a couple hours to write my weekly blog. After such a successful time, we’ve decided to meet monthly during this crazy time.
I made another connection with a cousin who contacted me after I did my DNA on ancestry.com last year. We had talked about a face-to-face family reunion in Arizona this summer, but that went by the wayside with all the restrictions.
So, my cousin invited me to a Zoom Family Reunion last month. Only four attended that meeting, but I loved seeing my cousins. The cousin who organized this fun event entertained us with stories of our heritage, sharing maps and other documents via Zoom with us.
With it being so much fun, we scheduled another session for yesterday, and I invited my cousins and my 92-year-old aunt to participate. We ended up with nine participants this time. I could see how much my aunt enjoyed this celebration of her mother’s side of our family, and she repeated a couple times how much my mom would have enjoyed this. During the 70s, my mom researched both sides of our family’s genealogy—she would have thoroughly loved all the new information and connections to add to her data!
In the future, I have more Zoom meetings planned—I so much more enjoy seeing people’s face instead of being on a joint phone call. If you have any reservations about doing a Zoom meeting, don’t!
To prepare for a Zoom meeting, download the app to your desktop, laptop, iPad or Smart Phone. Then when you receive the invitation for the meeting from the host, it includes all the connection information you need. You have two choices to connect on a computer: the easiest connection is a URL, so click on it and it activates the website and the app. The second option is a Meeting ID and password you input on the Zoom website after you select “Join a Meeting” on the menu bar.
If you’re using a phone, the invitation provides several phone numbers to access Zoom.
Once you arrive in a meeting, you can use the video showing you and your surroundings or you can choose not to show the video but you can still participate.
One caveat when you’ve entered the meeting is muting or unmuting yourself. There’s a button on your window or down on the left of the menu bar at the bottom of the computer’s screen.
I enjoy another Zoom feature, a Chat window where you can type in communication to everyone at the meeting or select individuals.
As you can see—it’s straight-forward. After a couple Zoom meetings, celebrate your newfound skills and partiicipate!
Have you zoomed yet? If so, how do you feel about zoomin’?
~HAVE YOU ORDERED A PERSONALLY AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF THE FLIPPO BIOGRAPHY? AVAILABLE NOW! Go to the homepage on my website and pay for it there: https://www.laradasbooks.com
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- Kobo (US) – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/just-another-square-dance-caller
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- Amazon Kindle (US) – https://www.amazon.com/Just-Another-Square-Dance-Caller-ebook/dp/B088QS9RH8
- Amazon Kindle (UK) – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B088QS9RH8
- Amazon Kindle (CA) – https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B088QS9RH8
- Barnes and Noble Nook (US) – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/just%20another%20square%20dance%20caller
~Visit my web site for all the information you need about me and my books: https://www.laradasbooks.com
~On Wednesday, August 12, 2020 I wrote my 200th blog post. Be sure and check it out here: 200th blog post