Virtual Vertigo

Excerpted from “This Summer's Conferences Virtual-Style” in August PUF:
 

“Haven’t had to put on long pants, very much, in these months of the pandemic. I know you didn’t notice, in that Zoom meet we had the other day. Been cycling through my portfolio of shorts, which, when topped off by a somewhat clean button-down shirt, suits well the situation of day-long digital dialoguing. As for my blazers and, jeez, my ties, soon it may be time to stuff them in a self-storage unit.

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Just imagine for a moment if this pandemic suddenly went poof, say, in time for the NARUC’s annual meeting this November. It’s a pleasant daydream for sure. Although, we’d all be forced to snap back, from the socially-distancing we’ve adopted, to old-style socially-interacting. Personally, I’d need a few weeks at least to get back to it, flying around the country, meeting face-to-face at distances of less than six feet, and worst of all, wearing dress slacks daily.

On the other hand, I really do miss some things. A hearty handshake with an industry buddy. That warm smile after a shared recollection. A chance run-in with a colleague from so many years ago. The meeting where, after a clash of views, a consensus forms and takes hold. Grabbing a cup at the hotel Starbucks with a key player and hearing which formation they’re fielding next.

Anyway, back to reality. This pandemic isn’t going away for a while. Best to make the best of it. Which means tuning in to the great virtual events. And, which means, getting comfortable doing so. Which means, for me and probably a lot of you, wearing your summer shorts below camera range during all those Zoom meetings.”


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