Zorba Paster: How I Keep In Touch With My Grandchildren

Physician Answers Caller's Questions On Ways To Communicate With Grandchildren During Pandemic

Seen through their kitchen window, Allan and Debbie Cameron contact their grandchildren via the internet Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in Chandler, Ariz. Debbie, 68, has asthma which makes her one of the people most at risk from the new coronavirus. The Cameron’s now she see their children and grandchildren from the other side of a window or a phone. Matt York/AP Photo

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and social distancing practices remain in place, keeping in touch with loved ones is as important as ever.

Here are some ways I have kept in touch with my own grandchildren. The following question is from a listener to “Zorba Paster On Your Health,” who called himself “Grandpa Jeff.” He recently called in to my radio program asking for suggestions on how to keep in contact with his grandchildren.

This exchange has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Grandpa Jeff: I am having grandchildren withdrawal syndrome. I have been in isolation for over a month and I am missing the heck out of my children and my grandchildren. I’m wondering how we can handle doing some get togethers?

Dr. Zorba: Oh my goodness … I certainly know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you what I’m doing.

First of all, we have one grandchild in town. Hallelujah! And we have seen her. We have actually had lunch with her. We have actually had dinner with her. But we say we have got to stay 10 feet apart. We say 10 feet because otherwise, she will come a little bit closer. And then we do a virtual “hug.” And then we have actually shared a meal. They bring food. We bring food. And we’ve had a couple of this visits like that. We would love to hug her. We would love to talk to her about why we cannot hug her, and we do. It is not quite as satisfying, but it gives us something.

And then, we have got some grandchildren in Seattle. And one of our grandchildren is now 20 months old, and we FaceTime with her. And we have actually FaceTime-d with her a couple of times. We have done it at breakfast. So she’s eating breakfast and they’ve got the iPad in front of her and we talk with her. “What are you eating? Why are you shoving oatmeal into her mouth?” And that’s a lot of fun.

So, we have shared meals with our children. We have done that both on Zoom and on Houseparty. Is it as satisfying as being in the same room? No, but it’s more satisfying than being alone.

Stay well!

Note: If you have a coronavirus-related question, please call Zorba’s show anytime and leave a voicemail at 800-462-7413. We will continue to answer your questions, and you can always check the “Zorba Paster On Your Health” Facebook page for frequent updates surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.