Will prisons use zoom and other tech to replace real visits when the virus ebbs?

This past year we had discussed many of the benefits and downsides of “life in remote”. For some of us it has entailed newfound freedom. For others 6 hour zoom meetings, loneliness and alienation, burnout and so forth.

For many, it is a temporary situation - yes remote and distributed work is here to stay. But what will change is our social lives - we will be able to meet and hug friends and loved ones, rant and let off steam in person over a drink…it will get better.

But what if it doesn’t? Today I came across this ominous article from the Marshall project about how jails are “innovating” in their use of technologies…


Good question. And what about those who can’t use Zoom. Prisoners, but also seniors such as my mother who is 95, has dementia and cannot grasp what Zoom, and other remote live video programs, even are, let alone how they work. She is in a small home for seniors in similar situations and because of the virus only staff and medical professionals can go inside the house. Thus, I have seen her only twice this year, last one in November. Since that time her condition has deteriorated to the point that I now think it is likely that she will die without any of her family able to see her, hug her or any of that. Like I told my family the other day in relating to them her recent changes - at least she doesn’t have a ventilator stuck down her throat dying alone in a hospital where everyone wears a hazmat suit and face shield.

So Zoom will never, can never, replace the human touch. We know that. And we also know that the virus will ebb on its own time. If it ever ebbs.

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