Stood Down Thanks to Covid-19. Day Fourteen. By Owen Zupp.


Stood Down. Day Fourteen. Thanks to Covid-19.

Well Chosen Words.

We live in an age of instantaneous communication. Never before in history have there been so many means of transmitting a message and yet the intent is so often missed, and the context confused. However, in a time of social distancing, the ability to communicate plays a vital role on so many levels.
Since being stood down, the company and the pilots’ union have provided a constant stream of updates through email messages and “webinars”. The ability to ask questions in the confusing and uncertain period provides some relief, even if answers aren’t always available in an ever-changing environment. More critical is the fact that employees don’t feel entirely forgotten, just because the bulk of the fleet is grounded.
In the same way, I see a strong benefit associated with our kids’ online learning is the ability to interact with absent friends through various group chats and “meetings”. Personally, the same facilities have proved beneficial to me as I endeavour to expand my writing projects, some of which are team-based.
The ability to see other participants is a major advantage over purely written or audio communication. Facial expressions provide so much non-verbal communication that aides with the clarity of the message. Too often in this day and age, the true meaning can be lost in a text. Similarly, feedback is imperative in ensuring that the content has been thoroughly understood. It’s not a perfect system but such mediums are a reasonable substitute.
Yet, while we can continue education and business through a digital means to offer some sense of continuity, modern communications can mean even more to others. Those that are confined and alone, or those that are elderly and unable to attend their weekly social gathering. Kirrily set up “Skype” for her parents so that they could not only chat with but see their grandchildren. The facility has been available for years but with in-person visits ruled out, its importance grew significantly.
For those that live alone of any age, their social interactions have been put on hold and the four walls can be closing in for some. The chance to still feel part of a community is critical in balancing society’s need for isolation. Again, it is important that we don’t feel that we are forgotten, disappearing beneath the enormous shadow of the pandemic.
For those of us with the time, means and ability, the need exists for us to reach out. Not everyone wanted to put their hand up in class and that trait doesn’t disappear with age. People may be shy, or they may not want to be seen as alone. Making contact can be as simple as a few words to start the conversation, but those few words may make an immense difference to someone. It may remind them that someone else cares and that they are definitely not forgotten. Who could you contact today?

Stay safe everyone and see you tomorrow.


Read Owen’s books here…

Boeing 747 - Aviation Icon and the Queen of the Skies.