Who’d have thought? I’m writing this mid February 2021. Any second now we’re going to say “It’s been a year since…” or “Do you remember this time last year we thought that?” Well certainly I did. I certainly didn’t believe that the virus would hold the world in its grip for quite this long. I remember saying to a singing friend of mine who was organising a singing trip the following (now last) September “Oh if we’re still in Lockdown in September, we’re in real trouble” – well we are, but although my heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones, as well as those who are seriously struggling in difficult conditions, there are also moments of sheer joy that only a complete change of routine can bring. I’m not going to preach, but haven’t we just started to notice things more? The sunrise, the change of seasons, the simple kindnesses of strangers as the saying goes.
And then there are all those things we have learnt to create, share and learn online. Those little videos for the birthdays of family members we cannot see, the online games. Those lessons, courses and church services which are now online. Unless you want to practice being a hermit, you cannot avoid an invitation to zoom. No doubt the Oxford English Dictionary will have a think about it. We’ve learnt how to make the lighting in our rooms better so that we don’t look quite so pasty. Members of Choirs (like my own dear Earthly Voices) have learnt that you’ll just have to listen to your own voice solo to keep up with rehearsal. No doubt even the shareholders of Zoom didn’t anticipate that their video conferencing system would gain world domination almost overnight. And what does all that technology give us? This… which is doing the rounds this week.