As I mention to family and friends, times are changing and even when the coronavirus has been tamed, the world will be different: more Zoom meetings, additional opportunities to work and/or learn from home, novel ways to connect from a distance when meeting in person is impossible… Virtual connections abound.

Each week I participate in Zoom calls — both for business and fun. 

Zoom and similar meeting formats have improved security and product in just a few months. 

If you have a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer you can Zoom into opportunities, at no cost if under 40 minutes. Here are some samples that you might enjoy:

Virtual run: sign up for an event of your choice, take your run, then log your time and mileage. You have a record of your feat and can take part in exercise you love.

Virtual wine tasting: suggest a variety of wines, request that friends purchase the same along with a sampling of food, taste and share discussion on your call.

Virtual mixology or cooking: send a list of ingredients to friends for a favorite drink or a yummy recipe. Mix and cook as you converse and prepare delicious treats. Baking cookies with Grandma is once again live complete with scents.

Virtual hobby: knitting, crocheting, fly tying, or growing a garden fill time and produce results. Think of the lifelong talents that can pass from one generation to the next.

Open Mic: a colleague and her husband love to sing, both live and Karaoke. With lyrics in hand and background music humming, entertainment is provided in homes throughout the country. 

Jamming: last week on Saturday Night Live the musicians combined delightful jazz as each played from home and their notes coalesced into beautiful melodies. Here is a super way to learn about the amazing gifts others possess.

Talent shows: an extension of jam-sessions, a piano recital, a soaring operetta tune, dancing, and more can be revealed on your screen. Sessions can be recorded and thus savored during the weeks ahead.

Pizza party: from mixing dough from scratch to slinging out a ready — made round, kids can build the perfect pizza with just a few key ingredients. Not only is dinner created, independent chefs now can help out with meals – and clean-up.

Bingo and other games: several of my family members hold a weekly Bingo game. 

Everyone has a board or two, regular game tokes (or beans or M&Ms) to cover called numbers, and the fun begins. Bingo is simple – for any age – so toddlers to Grands can join the fun. 

Monopoly, checkers, Sorry!... you name it. If each household has its own game, all moves can be played and easily referenced. If just one person has the board, moves can be made by the one in charge, while those at a distance voice their choices, jumps, and plays. Really, it is easier than I make it sound.

Painting, flower arranging, crafting: art supply stores are burgeoning with helpful tools and online orders are simple. Perhaps you have attended a paint and sip class. 

Now you can conduct one virtually either by organizing supply shipments and guiding the group with specifics or by just letting imagination flow. A photo, drawing, picture online plus some paint and a canvas, reproduction transpires with glee and originality. Dry flowers or a fresh bouquet skillfully arranged; a plain silk scarf transformed into a magic of color. 

Trivia: you can use the manufactured game or jot down trivia questions of your own. Pick a category such as old movies, best books, sports, etc., let callers write down questions, rotate turns, and keep score if deemed necessary. 

All ages can participate, especially when you design questions toward the age group in mind.

Scavenger hunt: missing socks or a favorite bracelet? These may turn up on the family search. My son’s second grade teacher played this with his class and he loved it. Combining letters, spelling words, math problems, and interest questions, a race around his home delivered an array of laughs and secret finds.

Book club: pick a book, read, and discuss. In my Sisters Book Club, we rotate selection weekly with each sister getting a turn. Not only does this help me step out of my regular reading pattern, I am learning about my sisters as well. 

Being up and positive can be a struggle, but diversion helps. Virtual connections are lifelines to joy and filling a void. Need help? Email me.