Major achievement today. I had 18 on the Saturday Zoom call for fellow Parkwood Retirement Village residents. I started this initiative less than ten days ago and we now have a technical committee to help others, 21 people have been on Zoom calls and some have been on as many as four and 35 are on the list. Today we had the General Manager and Deputy on. Basically we are just sorting what needs attention – methods of ordering food, flu vaccines and clarifying social distancing during walks.
And overriding it all is the need to support those who are vulnerable. The technical group now has the list of the 26 sector groups for civil defence, but I guess never did Civil Defence prepare us for an Emerging Infectious Disease requiring a national lockdown. So it’s a big challenge. Surreal.
Fortunately at an early Zoom meeting we had Sophie Handford on our call to help us learn to use it. Sophie and her friend had recently initiated the Kapiti Social Isolation Support group and has well over 50 volunteers for shopping. It is proving the most reliable form of shopping with groceries arriving the same day. They seemed to be ahead of the supermarkets in anticipating the need for mobile EFTPOS machines. Supermarkets overwhelmed.
We have Zoom calls scheduled for every Wednesday and Saturday at 10am and the management is hugely supportive of this initiative. My friend Elizabeth is now doing the notes from the meetings to send out by email to the 35 on the list so far. She and I will both have lists in case one of us carks it.
Every call there are some hitches. No video, no camera, ipad moving and making us all seasick. Extraneous noise. I have sent out a link and then gone onto the wrong Zoom number myself, that didn’t work. Fortunately I now check the email I am about to send out with my wonderful neighbour Ken.
Every time before a call I seem to get anxious and sure enough there are hitches. I purposely didn’t invite too many today because I simply couldn’t handle it if we had too many on the screen. Someone called me on Zoom when I was already on and that didn’t work for her. While many back off, others persevere and eventually connect. We are steering those with PCs to the PC good ones and same with Mac.
But now we have some people starting to learn Whats App and others matched up to teach internet banking. Zoom has been a boon. It would be great if more learnt to host Zoom calls. And so we bumble on…A weird time but an opportunity to learn new skills that some are grabbing with open arms.
And everyone is meeting new people on their walks. With every walk people publicise the Zoom call and are saying how nice it is to see a face rather than make a phone call with village friends.