This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

June 3, 2020

Solutions to Hack Life in the Time of COVID

This COVID Pandemic has been a challenge to many of us. We want to keep being related to our friends and still want to stay safe by staying home---or at least not attending group meetings and parties. People with access to broadband are able to continue many aspects of their lives. This Herman Trend Alert is another in the series to give you hope and help in the time of COVID.

A Variety of Answers, including Virtual Birthday Parties
From online yoga classes to online church services to virtual dating, people are choosing to be together as they shelter in place. Not long ago, my granddaughter Rebecca in the Boston Area celebrated her fifth birthday on Zoom. In Austin, I bought a small piece of cake and stuck a candle in it. With all eight grandparents in attendance, we all sang "Happy Birthday," and when she blew out her candles, we pretended she was blowing out the candle in Texas as well. Months ago, Rebecca's mom, Belinda, also started the practice of daily local birthday celebrations for the residents of her town. For Rebecca, there was also a local celebration with more than a dozen cars who passed the house honking and waving. For the older women residents of my local Texas subdivision, we are launching a Zoom alternative for our Book Club.

Telemedicine Comes of Age
From COVID medical appointments to periodic check-ups, doctors are learning how to use telemedicine to keep everyone safe. In fact, when I thought I was having COVID symptoms, the first step was a telemedicine appointment. This field is so important we are devoting an entire Herman Trend Alert in a subsequent week.

Teaching Martial Arts Online
Martial Arts teacher Janie Villareal owns Ultimate Challenge Martial Arts here in Austin, Texas. She was having a difficult time engaging her young students to stick with the classes. Then she started having the kids use pillows for punching and kicking practice; that made a huge difference---when the children could actually perform their normal class practices at home and make contact with a safe, home alternative to the pads she uses in her in-person classes. Now, Janie also includes the pillows for running games and though the five-years-olds rarely make it through the entire class, they are doing their practices regularly.

Arts, Cooking, and More
Founded in Boston, Yaymaker had offered in-person Paint Nites since 2012. Partnering with hundreds of entrepreneurs and artists throughout North America, they have hosted more than 300,000 events in more than 1,400 cities. Building off of their Paint Nite experiences, they began to offer Plant Nite, Design-a-Sign, Flower Workshop, Candle Maker, Cooking Classes, and something called "Innovation Lab." Once the COVID lockdown ended the in-person experiences, the company created online versions. Everyone buys the needed materials and using an online platform, they create together. There is even a digitally augmented art version using a technology called "Cupixel Sketch."

Virtual School Assemblies
Teacher, author, and education speaker Tyler Christensen engages fellow speakers and entertainers to provide content to K-12 students in his Virtual School Assemblies. As a 5th grade teacher he saw a need to share messages of inspiration, hope, and encouragement with his students, so he started reaching out to celebrities and professional speakers to do just that. Providing engaging experiences for young students, he works to deliver information and reassurance during this time when they are not able to physically attend school. Episodes can be seen on YouTube or listened to on the Virtual School Assembly podcast. (I will be featured in a subsequent podcast.) And it turns out, he is not the only one. There are, in fact, a number of other organizations providing engagement for at-home students, some of them even featuring the students themselves presenting.

The Future is Full of Innovation
There are many other examples of how people are using online platforms to continue to meet in a safe way. But these examples are only the beginning. Because this COVID Crisis is not likely to completely abate for at least 36 months (Thank you, award-winning author Laurie Garrett), our forecast is that humans will develop many other ways to hack life using the new technologies of Augmented and Virtual Reality and others to allow folks to be "alone together."

For more information on the Yaymaker events visit; to access Christensen's Virtual Assembles, visit here.

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