Shortening The Distance: Staying Connected During Coronavirus Through Zoom Happy Hours

May 7, 2020
Cathleen Meadows is working on an installation in her garden called "Masked Spirits."  She says it's "an ongoing project honoring our spirits of hope and recovery from this devastating pandemic."Cathleen Meadows is working on an installation in her garden called "Masked Spirits."  She says it's "an ongoing project honoring our spirits of hope and recovery from this devastating pandemic." Courtesy of Cathleen Meadows
Cathleen Meadows is working on an installation in her garden called "Masked Spirits." She says it's "an ongoing project honoring our spirits of hope and recovery from this devastating pandemic."

During this time of social distancing, finding ways to stay connected to the people in our lives is essential. Our project, "Shortening the Distance," focuses on how the people in our community are reaching out to their neighbors, friends and loved ones.

Hear how Cynthia Nimerichter, Randy Price and Cathleen Meadows are finding new ways to stay in touch, with music from Blue Dot Sessions.

A picture of Cynthia getting ready in her Zoom call. Her refection can be seen on the laptop screen placed on her table.Credit Courtesy of Cynthia Nimerichter
Cynthia Nimerichter stays in touch with her family through weekly Zoom calls.

Cynthia Nimerichter

Until five weeks ago, I had never heard of Zoom. Now it is my lifeline. I go to church on Zoom. I have two to three happy hours each week on Zoom. Somehow we even got my 90 year-old father to get on Zoom, so we three sisters can see him and each other during this pandemic. I'm thankful for Zoom.

A picture of Sierra and Heather, in masks and aprons, holding up takeout boxes with encouraging messages for customers.Credit Courtesy of Jami Leahy / Urban Egg
Sierra Edelmayer (left) and Heather Villaman (right) getting delivery orders ready for Urban Egg.

Randy Price, owner of Urban Egg and Salsa Brava

We are working hard to keep all salaried managers and as many of our hourly staff employed as possible. For those employees who have been furloughed, we have created a newsletter and that is designed to keep them informed of area resources available to them: home-schooling tips and shared projects that can be done at home with family members to keep people engaged, positive and focused.

We are continuing our community support of local hospitals and our health care heroes by providing all area hospitals in Colorado Springs with breakfast burritos, delivered to the emergency rooms and the ICU staff. We plan to continue providing breakfast burritos weekly to these hospitals until this pandemic is behind us.

Randy Price, Urban Egg and Salsa Brava are part of the Rocky Mountain Restaurant Group, which is a KRCC underwriter.

A picture of Cathleen in front of a wooden fence wearing a face mask and sunglasses.Credit Courtesy of Cathleen Meadows
Cathleen Meadows planted 33 pinwheels along both sides of her street to stay connected to her neighbors.

Cathleen Meadows

I put pinwheels in everybody's front yard along our block on both sides to connect our community, and it really has worked. I've met neighbors that I haven't met before and I've had children draw thank you's on my sidewalk with sidewalk chalk. I'm 72 years-old, so I really do need to stay home. And fortunately, with my studio in my kitchen or in my garden, home is a sanctuary.

I've been working on an installation [called] "Masked Spirits" which is an ongoing project honoring our spirits of hope and recovery from this devastating pandemic. The human shaped trellises will support climbing flowers and vegetables throughout the spring and summer. I hope to share this project with a community gathering/reception event in August or September.

Indoors I am working on a piece for a group show "Exo-Sanctuaries" in January at the San de Cristo Art Center in Pueblo. Interestingly, more than a year ago I chose "home as sanctuary" for my portion of the exhibition. And as you can imagine, I have been exploring sanctuary-ing at home at a much deeper level than I ever anticipated.

We want to hear from you, too!

What are you doing to stay connected with family, friends and co-workers? How are you keeping community while prioritizing safety and physical distance? What measures have you taken to reduce the distance we are feeling mentally and socially? How are you keeping community when community can feel so far away? Find out more about our "Shortening the Distance" project here.