|Vol. 16 No. 5
March 8, 2021
Columns & Features
by Heidi M. Pascual
by Jamala Rogers
by Jamala Rogers
By Kwame Salter
I am starting to feel good. It’s been one year since I have taken photos indoors, with about three
exceptions, or have done in-person interviews. I can count the number of events that I have covered and
taken multiple photos at on one hand.
While I know that I am not alone — there are so many people who are just a Zoom call away — I am tired of feeling isolated. I miss just
simple hugs so much and I know that I took them so for granted. I miss actually looking people in the eyes and talking for sometimes hours
on end over a beer and/or a meal. I miss people yelling, ‘Hey Jon’ from across the way and then getting together to see how each of us is
doing. And I miss having people whispering in my ears giving me story ideas.
We are so much better together than we are singularly. We are social animals and community and no amount of technology can ever replace that in my life and I
would assume everyone’s lives. When people get socially isolated, they start going over the deep end like Howard Hughes. We need each other.
I received a Community Impact award from the Madison Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority last month during their Heart & Soul Scholarship
Fundraiser. It was probably the best virtual event that I have attended over the past year. It was so cool and it was an honor to receive the award. But it ain’t the
same as the real thing baby. There were no friends there to give me a hug afterwards. And while having recorded comments from me was probably helpful because
it would be so easy to edit or cut someone off who gave thanks for what seems like hours on end. But I noticed that I kept looking at the screen and the flashing
lights on my computer while I was trying to give an acceptance “speech.” It’s so much better to look at people — and not myself — when giving a talk. I already
know how I look and it’s not always pretty.
And I miss the business breakfasts and dinners I would have for Adelante and the NAACP ACT-SO Program where we would talk and banter before getting down
for the business at hand. It just seemed easier to absorb what we were doing. And complete communication, in my book, is body language and eye gaze to ascertain
if there are any other messages that are being sent. “Can you look me in the eye when you are telling me this? Are you really telling me the truth?”
Now there have been some benefits that have come from the pandemic and social distancing. For the first time that I can remember, I didn’t come down with a bad
case of the flu in February probably because kids weren’t in school and I was religious wearing a mask around other people. Usually I would be laid up for about
four days. I would consider this to be by “winter vacation” because I had to tell people no and felt I could ignore the telephone.
And while it’s been hard not going to social events at least once per week to take photos at, I also haven’t had the expense of going to social events. I have not eaten
outdoors at a restaurant since March 2020, not once. Now I do order out 2-5 times per week, but the rest of the time, I’ve eaten a lot of pot pies, spaghetti dinners,
lasagna and shrimp dinners that cost $3-$7. I’ve probably saved hundreds of dollars in food costs, although I’m getting bored eating the same things over and over
again. -- READ MORE
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