12 thoughts on “Social Engagement, Virtual and Otherwise

  1. sfrussell49 says:

    I’m glad to hear you’re being so proactive—but it’s YOU, so I’m hardly surprised! Wish I could sit on your porch, talk and eat strawberries—sounds lovely! I just got back to Pennsylvania after six months’ sabbatical in Alabama, researching Civil Rights museums. It was a wonderful trip—.if strange! But I do as almost 24/7 with my 13 year old son. Now that he’s at his dad’s, and I’m having some much needed alone time, I find I’m missing him a lot!! Best wishes! You’re a wonderful inspiration! Xxoo

    • Jean says:

      Susan, I’m glad to know that your sabbatical project wasn’t completely disrupted by COVID restrictions and closures. Did you have to do a two-week quarantine after you traveled back to PA?

      • sfrussell49 says:

        No quarantine. It’s all so loosey goosey! But I’m not really around anyone except my son who was with me anyway. It’s his birthday today—Fourth of July baby!!😁

  2. Andrea says:

    I am so glad you have a variety of friends. Unfortunately, I have only one friend who is extremely hard of hearing and not well. I have found that it is very difficult cultivating friends as an older person living alone, but you have become a master. I do appreciate your sharing some interesting ideas especially related to Zoom.

    • Jean says:

      Andrea, It is particularly difficult not to be able to visit friends who are not well. Here in Maine, all the retirement communities and long-term care facilities are locked down and not allowing any visitors.
      I am lucky that I have found it surprisingly easy to make new friends during this stage of my life — I think because retirement freed up time for me to be involved with many activities, and each activity brings a whole new set of people with it.

  3. Jean R. says:

    I love your spirit and the way you adapt. I’m not at all surprised by how pro-active you are to staying social while staying safe.

    • Jean says:

      Jean, I’ve always been a person who copes with stress by coming up with an action plan, so the proactive approach is just about second nature for me.

  4. Salander says:

    Try doing any of these activities when you have gearing loss. Masks block all communication and if off being 6 feet apart also adds to the lack of communication. You are lucky you can hear

    • Jean says:

      Salander, I actually do have some hearing loss. Fortunately, it was diagnosed early enough that hearing aids have really helped and so far have arrested further deterioration of my hearing. I have the most trouble in noisy settings (trying to talk to people in restaurants with loud background music is just about impossible) and on the telephone. Three of the four members of my book group wear hearing aids, but we have somehow managed to communicate even with masks and from 6′ distances (although I suspect the person in our group with the most severe hearing loss misses chunks of the conversation). I find Zoom to have particular advantages in compensating for my hearing loss. Since the Zoom room is virtual, we don’t need masks; and, unlike the telephone, I can see people’s mouths as they speak, which helps my comprehension a lot.

  5. Diana Studer says:

    Not needing a mask and being able to see facial expression would give my deaf ear some support (I loath telephone conversations!)

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I am Jean Potuchek, a professional sociologist who has just stepped into the next phase of my life, retirement, after more than thirty years of college teaching. This blog is about my experience of that new phase of life.

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