June 26, 2020
I commend the city for producing a video [referring to this MFN story]. Canceling events like the Old Settler’s Picnic is hard on the community. We have to figure out how to replace newly dangerous events with activities that allow folks to interact with their neighbors in safer ways. If we don’t, folks will ignore social distancing, forget about masks, and the virus will claim more and more of us.
The video is one such innovation. The painted rocks that show up on the sidewalk and on park benches are another. They are elegant strokes of genius both in concept and execution (that’s tech bureaucracy jargon for “the rocks are a great idea and nicely done in themselves”).
But if we are to beat back the virus, we all need more. This is the time for all of us to be our creative best selves.
As a Whatcom County Library System Trustee, I want to shout out the efforts of the library staff (both county and Bellingham) to offer online services to replace in person interactions in the library branches. If you haven’t, take a look at https://wcls.org. If you are a crafter, go to “Creative Bug” under “Digital Content.” if you want a class in anything from finding a construction apprenticeship job to quantum mechanics, try lynda.com, also under Digital Content. Or just view some of the YouTube videos from the library staff. Watch an online story time. They’re not just for toddlers.
As a software engineer and architect who’s been in online meetings since the 1980s, we are at a moment where this online stuff actually works pretty well. It was a struggle for years. Zoom, as one example, floats my barn boots because I know how trying online meetings used to be. Computer networks are finally at a point where creativity online doesn’t require special training and high tolerance for technical screwups (well, not as much tolerance as it used to.)
Get together with your friends and do something interesting online for your community! And don’t give up because your first effort didn’t meet your expectations. Living online is a skill you get better at with practice.
This is not the time to stick your head in a hole in the ground and hope the virus and strife will go away. It’s time show just how resilient and clever we all are. Our economy, sanity, and many of our lives depend on getting together safely.
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