Ways to Keep Safely Moving Forward

While the worldwide pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus continues, our office and the rest of the world is finding ways to safely keep moving forward. We all have added precautions to take to make sure we and the rest of society stays as safe as possible and to help, our office created videos on topics like social distancing, how to make a bandana facemask, and just generally how our office is able to help with the current quarantine restrictions in place. Fortunately, being kept physically apart for the sake of everyone’s health doesn’t mean that technology can’t be used as a temporary substitute, and this is clearly the case with the virtual meeting platform Zoom. (In order to protect our clients and staff, everything but signing meetings have taken place by phone or through Zoom meetings.)

Many of our clients have reported they only started using Zoom in the last few months, and others that they had only previously used it for work. While people would prefer face-to-face meetings, so far everyone has been understanding about this new, temporary reality. (Stock prices for Zoom have skyrocketed, going from $68.80 per share on January 2, 2020, to $177.15 per share on April 24, 2020.) This has also lead to a boom in the number of online Zoom meeting jokes:

“It’s amazing the things you learn about your spouse. I never knew I was married to a ‘let’s circle back on this’ type of person.”

“My cat jumped in front of my computer during a work presentation, and I tried to shoo them away. However, it quickly became clear my coworkers are more interested in my cat than my ideas.”

“Got to remember to either put up the fake Zoom background or clear away the empty wine bottles before my work meeting.”

One of our popular, local families, the Holderness Family known internationally for their humorous Christmas videos, has created a parody of their Zoom experiences during the quarantine. (Click here for YouTube video.)

We also have clients who requested Jeff be the minister for their wedding scheduled for April 18. Obviously, the wedding and Jeff Marsocci - wedding couplereception they wanted were pushed to July, but he was still able to do the actual ceremony for Madeline and Patryck in Patryck’s parents’ backyard while still maintaining social distancing. Very few were in attendance, and because of travel restrictions even the parents of the bride were not able to attend… but they were able to see the ceremony on Zoom. (Please note from the picture that perspective is everything; Jeff was actually six feet away from Madeline and Patryck even though from the camera angle it looks like he was only a foot or two away.)

Despite the jokes, people have started to successfully adapt to Zoom and other online meeting technologies pretty quickly, and they have been getting things done. In fact, Zoom is currently our office’s top method of moving through the estate planning and Medicaid planning process, even for meetings and questions that were previously handled just by phone. We also held our first webinar through an online Zoom meeting, and we hope to have that presentation about the basic documents everyone needs available online soon. While we look forward to the day we can see our clients again face-to-face, I have a feeling that Zoom meetings are going to remain a top method of communication, and we are happy to continue offering that service to our clients well after the COVID-19 restrictions are gone.