Dear reader: If I could reach through the screens that separate us, I would. Maybe through these words, I can somehow penetrate the distance. Please do let me know if you can feel the metaphysical handshake that has been extended your way.
Dear professors: In the absence of expressive eyes, we each try hard to send you any glimpse of a “lightbulb moment” through each paper we write.
Dear colleagues: Perhaps the animation of our voices can somehow substitute for the click-clacking of any toe-heel pacing and racing in the workplace.
Dear family: I may be hours away, but take these letters as my embrace. They mark a moment closer to the one in which I will be home once again.
We all find ourselves in a position of mutual understanding when it comes to the struggle to communicate via faraway sounds and pictures projected through square boxes and powerful speakers. I cannot pretend to believe that all virtual plans have worked out ideally. However, the community spirit of flexibility, creativity, and humor that this shift to online working and learning has kindled shines proudly. It is a testimony to the fact that we have not lost hope.
It is also necessary to acknowledge how much we’ve gained throughout this process. As a not-so-technically-savvy individual, I have come to understand the incredible strides our society has made in terms of virtual access and communication. For instance, I had never used Zoom before this quarantine. Now, it possible for me to see my grandparents and take music lessons from my previous instructor—all of whom live an entire state away. Not to mention the ability to continue to receive all the wisdom and guidance from our professors who are working so hard to make sure this transition is as smooth as it can possibly be.
As we strive towards the day when our 2D worlds evolve back into 3D ones, we must remind ourselves that each word we write, each call we make, and each video we send do make an incredible impact on those willing to reach back out and listen.