by: Karna Small Bodman
During these challenging times when many of us are “locked down” so to speak, we are lucky if we have the companionship of a spouse, a friend and especially a dog! In fact, in what must be “sympathy for our solitary status” our little “Cammy” figured out the best way to self-quarantine under my desk.
However, especially at times like this, we all want to figure out the best ways not to hide, but to keep in touch. In fact, ever since the dawn of time, there’s been a yearning (and necessity) to stay connected. From smoke signals, carrier pigeons, and the telegraph, we finally were blessed with the brilliant Alexander Graham Bell, the Scottish born American scientist and engineer who invented and patented the first practical telephone. He also co-founded AT&T.
How did this brilliant man find the inspiration for an invention that changed our lives? It turns out that when he was 12 years old, his mother began to gradually lose her hearing. The boy tried to learn a manual finger language and became so preoccupied with his mother’s condition that he started to study acoustics. He first performed experiments with sound. He even trained his dog to emit certain sounds he could analyze. Finally, in 1876 he filed a patent for a telephone; the Bell Telephone Company was created in 1877 and by 1886, more than 150,000 people in the US owned a telephone. Headlines were made at the opening of the long-distance line from New York to Chicago in 1892.
Fast forward to creation of the internet and cell phones. While billions of people were now connected, over in China there was an 18-year-old young man desperately in love with a young girl who lived 10 hours away by train. He could only see her twice a year. His name was Eric Yuan. He longed to see her face, not just talk to her.” He needed a solution. When he had some ideas about creating new ways to connect, he wanted to move to America to work with software engineers here. The first time he applied for a US visa, he was rejected. It took NINE tries! He finally arrived and began working with 40 engineers to launch a new platform. But he couldn’t find ANY investors, so he borrowed money from family and friends to launch Zoom.com
in 2012. Today with the coronavirus front and center, as founder and CEO, Eric has made nearly $4 billion in 3 months as conferencing skyrocketed and his company began being used by doctors offering virtual treatments, researchers collaborating on vaccines, teachers and universities conducting online classes… all of this due to the dedication of a young man whose motto is: “Hard work and stay humble.” If you haven’t signed up yet for Zoom, just go to that website and create an account – it’s FREE.
Since major conferences where we Rogues always got together were cancelled, we planned to have our own meeting…a “Retreat” at my home in Naples, Florida. But alas, travel plans had to be cancelled as well. Besides, for the first time ever, our beaches were also closed.
What to do? A Zoom conference, of course. And so we gathered and dialed in from our homes across the country –from California to Maine to talk about our novels, spreading the word about upcoming releases, inviting guest authors to write blogs for our website, analyze requests we’ve had for interviews or reviews, and so much more. But the best part of our Zoom conference was the sense of STAYING CONNECTED.
We look forward to finding ways to keep in touch with you, our friends and readers as well. Visit us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (symbols are at the top left of this page)
Now, please tell us about how you are staying connected as we move through trying times. And thanks for visiting us here at Rogue Women Writers.
So true. Staying connected is vital during this time. It was so wonderful to see everyone. Looking forward to the day when we can all be in the same room together 🙂
But what happened with Eric and the girl who lived 10 hours away???? Now I'm dying to know.
They are married!! Yay!
You are so right, Karna, about staying connected. Love your examples. And loved our Rogue Retreat … except, next year at your fabulous pad!
Really?? I thought for sure you'd say they broke up, being so young.
It seems finding ways to stay connected and to feel a sense of community while practicing physical distancing is one of the biggest hurdles of Covid-19 quarantine. I love the story of the man who created Zoom.