Community Corner: A Cure for a Virtual Hangover

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For those of you who don’t know me, I’m David — the “theater guy” at the 14Y. It’s been quite the adventure, turning our artistic content into digital interactions, and I hope you’ve had the chance to engage with some of the virtual offerings we’ve been putting together for you.

We’ve been so busy with this pivot, canceling programs to plan new virtual ones that I didn’t have time to even process our new reality and it all finally hit me at once. My husband Antonio and I have been isolated for three weeks as of today, and I am sure many of you reading this can relate to the eerie anxiety this remoteness and lack of control can bring. We started getting what I call a “virtual hangover” from the many Zoom meetings and phone calls I’m having between work and checking in with friends and family. While the contact is fantastic, it’s lack of that human to human connection leaves me a bit groggy. It’s hard for an interaction to feel genuine when your Zoom freezes or the connection makes your friend’s voice sound a bit robotic. As hard as we’ve tried to stay connected, it’s lonely.

As blessed as we are to be able to relate with some virtually, what I miss most is not seeing the people I used to see each day.  Like that Sesame Street song, “These are the people in your neighborhood, the people that you meet each day.” I miss them. In essence, if you are a 14Y member, I miss you: the smiles in the hallway I’d receive on the way to the theater from the adults lined up waiting to go to a fitness class in the gym. I miss seeing the Preschool kids putting on their shoes in the hallway. I miss our security guards and facilities staff who work so hard to try and maintain a busy building. And I also wonder constantly how everyone is doing and hope all are well.

So I was thrilled when Jordan Brackett, our Executive Director, and Alan Scher, our Associate Executive Director of Programs, asked me to figure out a way to reconnect the community.  Several of us got together and thought up this Community Corner idea.  It’s a YouTube channel where we will be uploading short videos from as many people in our community as possible. We will post fun tips, family interaction and some simple check ins and updates. Our goal is to roll it out with staff videos and then open it to the community, so you can hopefully send us your own check-in soon!

We launched the Community Corner this week, so check it out.  Every few days, we’ll be uploading more videos. I hope to see as many faces as possible!  Let’s face it, there are only so many Netflix documentaries I can binge watch.  And as delightfully funny some of these celebrity videos are, I’d rather see the faces of my community that I have been distanced from. I look forward to seeing you soon.

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