Choosing Reentry location!

Mary Hall-Rayford
3 min readJul 30, 2021

As a political activist and community advocate, I lead a pretty busy life. There’s always something going on in my community and most of the highlights center around our ability to get together for breakfast — pre-COVID. We had a favorite restaurant and one morning, we almost took up the entire dining area with about 15 of us seated. That was then, before the world shut down due to COVID-19 outbreaks and we were asked to shelter at home and mask up when outside our homes, to protect loved ones and friends.

During COVID isolation, our getting together consisted of Zoom meetings, one after the other and most of us, became pretty good at adapting to our new mode of gathering. It took a while for some to get the hang of using Zoom, but my curiosity led me to become quite good at manipulating backgrounds, recording meetings, going live on Facebook and in editing. It is a skill that I will always appreciate since, it looks like — Zoom may be the safest way to meet with large groups, for some time to come.

One of the amazing things about Zoom, is the total convenience of being at home, or in a car (when necessary) and when at home, not being “fully dressed.” While I heard the stories about “revelations” of the unmentionable kind, I didn’t see too many. There were a couple of instances in which someone was on a Zoom meeting during a City Council meeting, and they were lounging in their bedroom and during the meeting actually slipped into their pajamas, on camera, and we next see them in bed (we could see mouths hanging open as this occurred on the video screens). Thankfully, I never attempted to get ready for bed while on a Zoom meeting or conducted a Zoom meeting while in bed.

For me, Zoom allowed me to be as engaged or not, as I wanted to be. I could turn off my camera and do other things while I listened and on a number of occasions, I finished cooking dinner, held phone conversations (while muted), or texted other people. Time constraints with multiple activities allowed me to engage at the same time with different groups on my phone, notebook, and laptop with no one the wiser. Convenient, but mental hopscotch can be mind-boggling trying not to miss a beat while keeping up with the conversation when engagement is required. Thank goodness the “need” for Zoom and playing mental hopscotch is coming to an end (we think). At any rate…

Mary Hall-Rayford

Unfolding life perspectives as an educator, wife, mother, grandmother, political activist and community advocate-