Celebrating In Spite of Covid19

I know how Trumpian that title sounds. Believe me, it’s not! Giving all due respect to the scourge is what we do, the man and I, and what we’ve been doing for the past 8 months or so. But, when the time comes to celebrate, which is rare but welcome, we do our damnedest!

A few weeks ago we went to our grandson Yoni’s wedding to his bride and our new granddaughter, Nina. They wanted to share the wonderful event with all of the people who couldn’t be invited to the wedding due to virus limits that we all know only too well. So, they did a ZOOM chuppah. The folks at home on ZOOM in Israel and throughout the world loved being a part of the wedding, albeit missing the delicious food. How clever is that! I know. You’ve been to ZOOM events too. But, to be honest, this was the first wedding I attended where ZOOM brought the actual guests together with the virtual guests. See. We even have terms for those who weren’t there. The virtuals!

Today, was another family ZOOM day. Our granddaughter Liat became engaged last week to a Chicagoan named Chaim. They’re a remarkable couple, she being a real heroine, a front line hospital nurse, and he a researcher at Harvard in some esoteric subject that, believe me, I can’t even spell! And it came to pass that all the families wanted to meet, greet and celebrate. His Chicago family has roots in Brooklyn and Canada with an Israeli branch. Liat’s family is English and American with our USA folks stretching from Oregon to Boston and Florida and NJ plus, a large contingent in Israel. Even in the best of times a party, for such a crowd would be daunting. But, these days there’s the ZOOM advantage. No one could swing a feet on the ground party for such a disparate group without awesome planning and catering and housing and dressing and decorating but you could do it by ZOOM. And so it was!

The e-vites went out last week and the date was set for today at 2 pm which would accommodate all the time zones between Israel and Oregon perfectly. No one had to get up in the middle of the night either absurdly early or ridiculously late. Every single person came. I did put on earrings and lipstick for the occasion but didn’t bother with shoes. At the designated time all participants were tuned in and ready and there was hardly a blip. Every speaker was heard. Every person was seen and identified. Even we ancients are learning to ZOOM like pros.

The speakers were six grandparents, assorted aunts, uncles and cousins. Both sets of parents were more or less moderators and sitting in the control rooms in Chicago and New Jersey. After the formal program with the prepared remarks, all of the guests were introduced and given some time with the future bride and groom. I wondered if any other type of party would have allowed for so much participation. Answering my own question: NO. Real, as opposed to ZOOM, parties are more free wheeling, with people dispersed and challenged by listening or giving in to the tempting food and drink. We talked about serving food but our computers are not yet equipped to handle that assignment so catering was excluded. This made for a very attentive group of celebrants.

I’m beginning to suspect that we may all be on to something here. Logistics are very manageable when people are not flying in or driving in. I, for one, feel like a part of this joyous occasion and just like someone who has actually attended the event. Of course, the catering left something to be desired. Indeed it did!

We became acquainted with our new in-laws in a stressless format. We all seated and greeted and meeted and some even tweeted. It was a great big success, without compromise at all. And there was no traffic on the way home. Covid19, you can beat us down but we’re gonna do our best to get you in the end!

And to all the attendees, Mazal Tov. It was a great celebration!

About the Author
Rosanne Skopp is a wife, mother of four, grandmother of fourteen, and great-grandmother of two. She is a graduate of Rutgers University and travels back and forth between homes in New Jersey and Israel. She is currently writing a family history.
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