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The year of the ‘baby Zoomer’



Published: 4/27/2020 3:13:50 PM

When future political historians write about this year, they will concentrate on the pandemic and the momentous presidential election.

Social historians, however, will probably note that 2020 was the year the famous
baby boomer cohort became known as the “baby Zoomers,” as they discovered a new way to communicate via the Zoom app on their electronic devices. Even though folks were restricted to their dwellings, many people celebrated the spring holidays with virtual gatherings of friends and relatives.

In my family we held a successful virtual seder meal with members of my wife’s family. Twenty-seven people, who resided on both coasts and several states in between, participated in the ritual. While the event lacked the intimacy of quiet personal discussions and the energy generated by the physical presence of children, it would have been impossible, even without travel restrictions, to get that group of people together in any other way.

Because everyone was already at home, no one had to leave early and the seder was lengthier than usual. Another advantage was that the cleanup afterward was a snap as there were only the dishes from my wife and myself to put away and not the plates and utensils of a large number of participants.

My inner curmudgeon will always prefer in-person celebrations but, even though I am aware there exist many privacy concerns about the Zoom app, for one evening it enabled several lonely people to enjoy seeing and talking with their extended families. Let me conclude with a little poem:

I don’t expect to get a call

From someone who wants to play some ball.

And I don’t possess the utter gall

To drive my car to an empty mall.

So I’ll just walk from my couch to the wall,

Then down to the window at the end of the hall,

And quietly pray that by this fall

I’ll be outside and can say hi to y’all.

Richard Szlosek

Northampton



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