I have been hosting family reunions for both sides of my family and it’s a big job. Planning activities, meals, games, prizes, RootsMagic (genealogy updates), and lodging takes months each year. But this year thanks to shelter-in-place (SIP) orders, we can’t have face-to-face reunions this summer. We’re a close family so we found a solution: a virtual family reunion using Google Meet.
This was our first virtual family reunion so I kept it simple. We all shared our SIP stories and Nicole gave an update on the coronavirus and her experiences on the frontline as an ER doctor in Silicon Valley. I started the meeting with a slideshow of photos of my SIP projects to get everyone on board. That set the tone for each person as they shared photos and gave us updates on how they’ve worked from home, ordered groceries for delivery, and socially distanced as they met with one another.
Expect that some people will have trouble setting up the virtual meeting so set up a practice run a few days before your event. That way, people can log on to make sure their camera and microphones are all working. You can write instructions on setting up the app, checking the microphone and camera, and offering tips to help those who are computer literate. For others, you’ll need to set it up for them or walk them through every step.
Hope this isn’t the new normal, but for now, it is a fun way to stay in touch with the entire family. I recorded our session and plan to add it to RootsMagic so future generations will know how we’ve dealt with the coronavirus and our SIP orders.