Dear Friends of the Seaport,
I am excited to share what I see as our first glimpses of Spring. The days are getting longer (don’t forget to move your clocks ahead on Sunday the 14th) and the geese flying in their infamous V-shaped formations are giving us all that serotonin boost we’ve been needing and missing, dare I say all of last year. On a run the other day I even saw a crocus blooming in someone’s front yard! The slow, but steady release of the COVID vaccine is also helping to give us a sense that there is some light at the end of a very dark tunnel. While we all still need to be careful and observe safety precautions, there seems to be a renewed sense of hope in the air.
With the light of Spring comes the desire to share with you a success story that is not only emblematic of the season, but highlights the resiliency and ingenuity of your Seaport staff. As many of you are aware the pandemic introduced the world to virtual yoga, online happy hours, digital birthday parties and even live-streamed weddings. People of every generation and technology experience level are learning to embrace virtual engagement opportunities. For the Seaport, virtual programing such as our 3rd Thursday program and Speaker Series as well as, our online curriculum based partnership with Tacoma Public Schools has provided us with an opportunity to better serve our local communities.
Over the next several months, people will continue to look for quality virtual engagement opportunities, not only because virtual offerings have proven to be safe and convenient, but because many Americans are feeling isolated and battling depression and loneliness and are still desperate to connect to others. Some analysts believe the COVID-19 crisis is launching our nation into a period of “social recession,” an epidemic of isolation and loneliness stemming from months of not being able to interact in person with friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. The social recession is expected to have the greatest impact on seniors, adults living with a disability and those living alone—three groups that are already vulnerable to depression and other physical and mental health risks.
Even though communities are starting to lessen restrictions on public social interactions, it is likely to be months before people will be comfortable gathering in large groups at places such as, concerts, sporting events, theater and the like. Given these ongoing restrictions and the needs for all populations—including our most vulnerable—to connect, people will continue to need open, convenient and affordable virtual engagement opportunities, and will look kindly on organizations, such as the Seaport to provide them with safe virtual spaces to connect.
If you haven’t already done, I invite you to take a moment or two to check out our 3rd Thursday program, the Speaker Series and/or the TPS partnership by clicking HERE – you won’t regret it. And before I forget, stay tuned for re-opening information – that is what media folks refer to as a “tease.”