Aging / Coronavirus / COVID-19 / Friendship / Kindness / Pandemic

Phone chats take us out of isolation — if only for 24 minutes

Senior woman dialing a number on her phone at home.

I had just spent 24 minutes on the phone with my friend, a fellow baby boomer, when I saw the New York Times article on April 9. Americans are phoning in record numbers during this terrible pandemic.

My friend had suffered numerous bouts with pneumonia and was cut off from her children and grandchildren to avoid exposure to the coronavirus.

She and I are from a generation when phone calls were the gold standard for communication. We were in our 50s when emails became a popular way to keep in touch and in our 60s when texts had already become the rage.

Now, thank goodness, things have gone full circle.

The Times reported that Verizon was then processing more calls a day (800 million), doubling that made on Mother’s Day, when every son and daughter in America is dialing. Verizon estimates the length of voice calls were up by a jaw-dropping 33% over the average day before the coronavirus made us home-bound. AT&T also reported off-the-chart numbers of phone calls.

Sure, people still text and email. But I hope the phoning trend continues after we are (fingers crossed!) fully out of the pandemic. Nothing nicer than to hear a warm human voice on the line!

© Ron Cooper 2020

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