By Carol Shaw and the Blog & Web Team
This time last year, “pandemic” was just a word. Now it has faces and emotions attached. Some of us have lost friends or family. Some have suffered through COVID-19 themselves or helped care for loved ones with the disease. None of us are untouched.
There’s a special solidarity that comes from weathering a storm together. I know I would have had a harder time if it weren’t for the occasional chance to connect with colleagues: people who understand that an imposed isolation is different from regular work isolation; people who know how swiftly a client’s shuttered operations can jeopardize a household economy. People like you.
Together, we’ve adapted. We’ve learned new tools. We’ve shared ways to help our clients get the best results in a remote interpretation. Webinars have allowed us to keep learning across the miles. Conferences like ATA61 moved online, gave us exceptional classes, and still found ways for us to hang out and talk shop. Virtual connections have become second nature.
We learned to make masks this year (or at least, some of you did. I flunked sewing in high school.) For anyone who still wants to try, the CDC provide a pattern and a video.
We also learned to maintain our masks and how to handle them. “Take it off by the straps, fold it so that the outer surface is held inward and against itself to reduce contact with the outer surface during storage. Store the folded mask in a breathable container, no plastic. Wash your hands before and after.” This, too, is now second nature for most of us.
In fact, we’ve used masks so much that we have our favorites. So, let’s have a little fun with them.
Masks à la mode – a virtual fashion show!
For all the virtues of the digital world, real connections need the human touch. ATA ID members are invited to join in a virtual fashion show! Put on your favorite mask, take a selfie (or enlist some help), and head on over to the companion post on Twitter and/or Facebook. Upload your picture and if there’s a story about your mask, please share it.
The ATA Interpreters Division Leadership Council is here to help you connect. Indeed, the Council has grown, with several talented new members joining the ranks. In October of 2020, we had the privilege of welcoming our incoming Assistant Administrator, Christina Green. As president of the Midwest Association of Translators & Interpreters, a past member of the ATA Board, and a highly experienced translator and interpreter, Christina brings a lot to the table. We are thrilled to have her leadership and invite you to learn more about Division’s dynamic administrative team in their year-end recap published on our blog.
The ATA ID has several social media platforms to keep you connected (links for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are provided under this article). Website pages are being refreshed to make resources more readily available to you, so be sure to visit the site regularly for updates. There’s a discussion forum, glossaries, a wealth of information, and peer-reviewed articles on our blog.
Blog subscription drive – with prizes!
If you haven’t already subscribed to the blog, please take a moment to do so now! There’s a link on the right-hand side of the blog webpage.
Every ATA ID member who is subscribed by midnight Pacific Time, January 6, 2021, will be entered in a drawing. Three lucky winners will be selected at random and announced at the ATA Interpreter Connections virtual meet-up on January 9. In addition, the 500th person to subscribe will be lucky winner #4!
Once you subscribe, please register for the ATA Interpreter Connections meet-up on Saturday, January 9, 2021 from 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EST. While there is no cost, it is still necessary to sign up.
As we finish out 2020, we are so glad you’re part of the Division. Please build self-care into your daily lives. Remember that colleagues and friends are only a phone call or click away. And whatever 2021 brings, we’re in it together. See you next year!
The ATA ID Blog & Web team members are: Andreea Boscor, Elena Langdon, Gaby Penrod, Julie Burns, Maggie Hong, Natalia Abarca, Paula Irisity (Webmaster), Rafael Treviño, and Carol Shaw (Editor).
 From an interview by ATA ID Administrator Helen Eby, who visited with a hospital interpreting services administrator during the early days of the pandemic.
Last updated: 2020-12-26 – Updated instructions for the virtual fashion show.
The ATA Interpreters Division website offers a wide range of services for its members, including the Blog, a Resources page, and a Discussion forum. Members are also invited to join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!