Conversations

close up photo of golf ball

Photo by Thomas Ward on Pexels.com

We went golfing yesterday morning with another couple, who we’ve wanted to golf with for quite some time.  But……..all four of us are busy people involved with family, charities, part-time jobs, hobbies and friends.  The pandemic has slowed down our lives so there was time for a morning of physically distanced exercise and fresh air and interesting conversation.  Wonderful!

house inner city winnipeg

Our friend checks out an interesting sign on the fence on one of the houses in his neighbourhood.

Yesterday in the early evening we went for a walk with a fellow church member, someone we don’t see that often. He took us through his neighbourhood in the heart of the inner city. I was familiar with the area because two of the elementary schools I work at for the university are nearby.

But………… I had never been there when the weather was warmer, the workday was over, and many people were outdoors interacting with one another.  The sidewalks were too narrow and many not well -kept, so we walked down the middle of the streets to keep our physical distance. Our walk and our conversation with our friend helped us get a sense of a part of our city that is dynamic and interesting but also home to poverty, violence and neglect.

roof top ashdown warehouse

We are grateful for our rooftop patio which allows for getting together in the fresh air for conversation while physically distancing.

We chatted with our condo neighbours who joined us for a glass of wine on our rooftop last night.  Our neighbours come from France.  The woman’s family hails from Toulouse and she told us how the pandemic has impacted that city whose economy depends almost solely on the aerospace industry, an industry that employs her sister and some 90,000 other people in the Toulouse area. They make Airbus planes in Toulouse and there simply isn’t a demand for new aeroplanes right now.  

people inside commercial air plane

Photo by Sourav Mishra on Pexels.com

Our neighbours, who are experts in their professional fields, cancelled lectures they were to give in some half dozen spots around the world this spring. But…….   they still gave many of those lectures online and their audiences were much, much larger than they had anticipated. Why? Because people didn’t have to fly to a high-priced conference and pay for airfare, hotels and food as they did so.  They just joined a zoom meeting or some other form of electronic conferencing and heard the same speakers and lecturers at a tiny fraction of the cost.

We talked about how this might be the wave of the future.  The demand for air travel for business and academic and professional reasons will wane as people realize they can connect online so much more cheaply. The plane manufacturing business in Toulouse and other places may not be rallying anytime soon. 

Other posts……….

Another Friend For A Moment

Up On Our Rooftop

 

2 Comments

Filed under COVID-19 Diary

2 responses to “Conversations

  1. It is likely that our online experience during this pandemic will change conferencing in the future, but there are aspects to the conference experience that may be harder to meet virtually. Networking and meeting new people are as important as (and sometimes more important than) the lectures and workshops. There may be creative ways to replicate some of that online, but it is still a challenge. Also, the experience of being away from home and responsibilities and immersed in the conference setting gives one more focus and concentration and may free up one’s own creativity to better apply what is learned. While I look forward to better online conferencing offering me more opportunities to participate in events I might not otherwise have been able to attend, I also think there may be a greater interest in in-person events once we all feel safe about them again.

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    • I think you are right Donna. When I think of the children’s writing conferences I attended it was connecting with the other writers outside of the sessions that were so valuable. Tonight I am actually attending for free a panel discussion with children’s writers and editors I would have paid hundreds of dollars to hear speak at a conference. So there are two sides to the coin for sure. Congratulations on your new grandchild by the way. I haven’t been able to see my grandkids for months now but the video chats certainly keep us inspired and hopeful during this time. Thanks for the link in your blog. Blogging is helping to keep me sane and focused right now. Take care, Donna. When all this has passed I’d love to get together again.

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