I spent much of yesterday on the phone – well, on Zoom calls – using my iPad. Zoom is the coolest thing I’ve seen in the Time of Corona, and it’s something you might enjoy using too!

I’m in deep with two arts organizations, and several Zoom calls were scheduled for the day. I wasn’t sure I could figure out the technology.  

I’m happy to let you know: it was easy! And enchanting! You end up on the screen, Brady-Bunch style, with everyone else right there with you in their own little squares.

It was an effective way to hold a meeting, and the ways you can use it are endless. You could hold a virtual family get-together from multiple locations. You might meet with your book club. You can enjoy a cup of coffee or happy hour with your friends.

When you join a Zoom call, everyone’s there – LIVE! IN COLOR! It’s a little freaky, in the best kind of way.

So this means you have to brush your hair and maybe put on a little lipstick. Small price to pay to feel the vibe of the people you’re talking with, whether you’re discussing sensitive financial matters or trying to figure out Life in the Time of Corona. I’m Zooming with my book club tomorrow night and will let you know how that goes.

If I can do this, you can do this, friends. Google “Zoom” on your desktop computer (of any vintage) and follow the instructions to set it up. Or go to the App Store on your iPad or iPhone. I don’t have a laptop, I’m not sure how to set it up on a laptop. But I bet you’ve got a friend or family member who does.

Today, I’m thrilled for Tom and Dana Sherrard to stop in at Bacon to share their Wisdom in the Time of Corona. I learned a lot about how to be a good lawyer from Tom Sherrard, back in the day, both at Vanderbilt and in practice. I’ve admired Dana from afar, and close up, for a long time. I’m hoping to get them on a Zoom call soon! Like maybe today.

Hi Tom and Dana! I’m so happy to hear from you at Bacon today.

What’s your best coping strategy in the Time of Corona?

Dana: Prayer, Bible study, piano playing and long walks! Also staying in touch with friends and family. 

Tom: Calls to friends and family. Daily workouts.

Are you watching the news nonstop? Where do you get your news?

Dana: I limit it to one hour a day if possible. Fox and NBC.

Tom: Two to three hours a day. Fox and CNN.

What brings you the most joy and contentment in the Time of Corona, or otherwise?

Dana: Family and friends. I really appreciate each and every one who is a part of my life. Being cut off from physical contact with those I love makes me realize just how special they are. I am also thankful Tom is such good company (and has a great sense of humor!)

Tom: I echo Dana’s sentiments and value her daily company. 

What is the hardest thing about this period of time?

Dana: Being confined! Not being able to gather with friends and loved ones. 

Tom: Being confined and missing work colleagues and friends.

What essential supply are you stocked up on?

Dana: Grapefruit juice! Love it! Also can’t do without my cup of coffee in the morning. 

Tom: Coffee cake, oreo blizzards!

Jennifer: I LOVE an Oreo Blizzard! (I like grapefruit juice too. But not as much.)

What essential supply are you not stocked up on? 

Dana: Can’t think of anything.

Tom: I think we are good.

If you’re watching more TV, what are you watching? What shows (including documentaries and movies) have you watched in the last year or so that you would highly recommend?

Dana: We have enjoyed watching TV series such as “The Roosevelts,” “George Washington,” The Country Music Series, and “Poldark,” and we are currently enjoying “Madam Secretary.” We also love the old classic movies.

Tom: I have also enjoyed “Outlander,” the Father Brown Mysteries, and “Foyle’s War.”

What are you reading right now?

Dana: The 13th Valley by John M. Del Vecchio, The Shallows by Nicholas Carr.

Tom: The 13th Valley by John M Del Vecchio and Full Bore by Nelson Andrews. Also The Coldest Winter by David Halverstam (about the Korean War).

What have you read in the last year or so that you would highly recommend? Or – please recommend one of your all-time favorite books! 

Dana: A Gentleman in Moscow (he was confined and made the best of it) and Where the Crawdads Sing were two good ones.

Tom: David Copperfield is one of my favorite books. Also I have enjoyed the Patrick O’Brien Aubrey/Maturin Series and every book by Bernard Cornwell.

What’s your advice for friends trying to stay sane – and calm – in this uncertain, worrying time?

Dana: I think we should dwell on the positives of this time of isolation. Most of us have spent a good part of our lives rushing from one thing to the next with very little down time. This is a perfect chance to do all sorts of projects we haven’t had time to do before such as clean out and organize our homes, take a course online, paint, get in shape, be quiet and think about things, read, plant a garden, get in touch with friends, reach out to others and find ways to help them get through this, especially single people who are totally alone. Really, the list is endless. We may never have this much time on our hands again, so let’s make the most of it. As the saying goes, “bloom where you are planted” and right now we are for the most part domestic, indoor plants!

Tom: Keep your sense of humor. Find things to laugh about!

Thank you, Dana and Tom! You model lives well lived. xoxo