THE LOCAL NEWS OF THE MADISON VALLEY, RUBY VALLEY AND SURROUNDING AREAS

Photo courtesy of STEVE MCNEECE

VIRTUAL COMMUNICATION

The many ways to connect

Social distancing refers to physically distancing from others, but it does not have to hinder communication.

Many states are encouraging their residents to limit their exposure outside of their homes due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Steve Bullock issued a stay-at-home order to reduce the spread of the novel virus and protect Montanans March 26. People and businesses are communicating in different ways than usual.

A lot of technology has been dedicated to enhancing communication. The 21st century has been obsessed with communication from the beginning. Facetime, Skype, Zoom, GoTo Meeting, Web Meeting, StartMeeting, Flock, Google Hangouts, Workplace by Facebook, Instagram Live – modern communication has thousands of platforms.

FAMILY TIME

Communication and celebration are required to happen from a distance during the pandemic.

The many life accomplishments worth celebrating are now virtual experiences. Décor is optional and the dress code is quarantine-relaxed.

Glowing lights from computer screens, smartphones and I-pads surrounded Eaton Crossland as blew he blew out the candles on his chocolate cake. He turned 8 years old on March 24.

“It was cool,” Crossland said.

The celebratory hoots and smiles can be seen in real time using technology, like Skype and Facetime.

Madison County’s two nursing homes started preventative measures early. Now, only employees walk through the doors. Nursing home employees are instructing residents on the new-to-them technology, so they can still enjoy familiar faces.

For most residents, phone and letters are the preferred method of communication to the outside world. But they have options. Staff members help nursing home residents send photo messages using a whiteboard, and written instructions for videoing options are available.

The Nursing Home Administrator, Steve McNeece, said that he is proud of the staff ’s continued morale and communication. Letters have been sent to families encouraging window visits as well.

BUSINESS NOT-AS-USUAL

The world feels like it is on pause for many people. Business is not running as usual, but most have to keep running on some level.

Businesses that can continue to operate from home have to communicate. Government has to communicate. The world has to communicate outside of offices, conference rooms and business centers.

Ann Goldthwait in Sheridan has to sell the items in her store, Kindred Spirts, before it sells. Her plan of a liquidation sale had to adjust, so she took it to Facebook. People can also make an appointment to come in.

Businesses are using technology more than ever to communicate with their remote teams. Most local governments are following suit with sign up information to the public about meetings through phone and online.

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729
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