Family hosts nearly a year of Sunday Zoom calls during pandemic

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Though they seem normal now, technology platforms like Zoom were foreign to most people at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the Lawson family embraced it and grew tighter in the process.

Since Sunday, April 19, 2020, Bill Canty and Angela Davis have hosted the family weekly Zoom reunions.

"There's not been a week that we've missed," said Bill Canty. "Our family looks forward to this and it's just an amazing thing."

Born out of the pandemic, the Zoom calls have kept the family connected, address needs and provide support.

Participants grew exponentially.

"We've had as many as 70 family members on at once," said Canty.

But these calls are more than just a "hello."

Many families have struggled to get preventative care and health information during the pandemic.

So, this family decided to take action by inviting professionals like doctors and dentists to take part and inform.

"They talked to our family members about the necessity of the vaccines, because a lot of us were not on board," said Davis. "And I was the first one to say 'I'm not sure,' even though I have underlying conditions."

Canty added, "When there are other things that create anxiety for our family, we deal with it."

And not all the calls focus just on the pandemic.

They also talk about other issues in the news cycle.

"The election time came around and we knew our family was preoccupied with that," said Canty. "We brought political scientists on to help us explain, you know, how all of that works."
Davis and Canty both said they've met family members they normally wouldn't have.

Bonds have grown tighter, but they still miss the in-person interaction.

"We have learned so much about one another," said Davis.

For a family accustomed to family reunions, they can't wait for July 19, 2022, when they expect to ditch the digital, and reunite in person.

"Just craving hugs, they are craving being around their family," Canty said.
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