The Human Connection - How We Stay Connected

The power of connection is rooted in what we do here at Yamaha. We understand the importance of feeling heard and linked to others.
We're connecting with folks from all walks of life to share stories of challenges or breakthroughs during this new era of staying connected, while apart.



Growing up, my grandparents would visit me every weekend. This tradition continued well into my teenage years. Once I could drive, I'd visit them for a homemade Portuguese steak dinner. Life moves on. I became an adult and moved farther away. You get older and visits become calls. When I had kids, I made sure that they were part of those calls. Let's be honest, once you have kids you are not the reason grandparents or great-grandparents answer the phone. My sons having that bond was very important to me.
Not a week would pass without speaking to my grandparents. Last year, my grandfather passed away and my grandmother was unable to live by herself. She's in a nursing home and is doing well. My parents and aunts see her daily.
The downside is she doesn't have a phone. That unbroken streak of calls ended in May of 2019. Instead of weekly calls, I'd have monthly visits.
It wasn't much, but it was something.
That all ended about a month ago.
Now I couldn't visit. Her nursing home would not allow visitors because of the potential risk. Floors of her nursing home were sequestered. This is especially difficult because my grandmother is in the same home as her sister, but on different floors.
It's awful. I have my health, my sons and my wife. My parents have each other. Everyone in my family had someone.
She was alone. It helped knowing she was being taken care of, but we missed her and she missed us.
This all changed about three weeks ago. My grandmothers nursing home has an iPad. It occurred to them that the residents could reach out to their families using facetime.
We can't visit her yet, but we see her all the time.


"While I work from home once in a while, working from home indefinitely has me thankful for the tools my company has in place that allow me to continue to do my job at the same level and stay connected with my team. With collaboration hardware and software, I know we may be a bit more prepared than some and for that, I am grateful."


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"Video and audio communication tools have proved invaluable to family and I during this time. My sister just gave birth to her first child last week, so we've had to transform the way we communicate and bond by relying heavily on pictures and video calls. It's been painful for our family to not be together during this time, but we've never been more grateful for technology."


"Staying connected to one of my best friends while she was in the hospital with Covid19 was challenging! We managed through social media, zoom and texting - and that was great medicine! She also enjoyed hospital visitors (from afar) and is home recovering well today!"


"As elementary school teachers who have plenty of chalk to burn, we decided to join the "Chalk Walk" brigade and decorate our driveway with messages for people walking by. Families have really enjoyed getting out for some exercise to see all the decorated driveways in our town.
One of the local NYC news stations had their NJ correspondent come to our neighborhood in Bridgewater, NJ to do a story about the driveway designs, and we ended up being interviewed for the evening news. Just our small contribution to brighten up the spirit of the neighborhood during this period of social isolation."

"Last week all of my siblings were doing a group chat to update on COVID-19 and family matters, and the texts were getting confusing with different people responding to different topics in the chain. I suggested doing a family meeting via Zoom instead. We set up a weekly recurring Zoom video call so we can all stay updated on each other.
We decided to open it up to extended family, so we had us five siblings on the call; along with children, grandchildren, cousins, etc. We even had our dogs join the call! We had multiple sites in NJ, NC, FL and CO on the call together.
It was a great way for us all to connect together and enjoy some extended family time. Normally, I would only talk with my siblings individually maybe once a month, now we are going to meet weekly instead during these trying times.
One of my sisters throws a "Cousins Christmas Party" each year in NJ My mom and her two sisters all stayed in the town they grew up in, so then we ended up with a total of 17 cousins in the same town. We now have the ability to have our virtual "Cousins Party" each week on Zoom! In a weird way, being forced to stay at home by ourselves will actually bring us closer together as an extended family."
Dianna Barrantes was diagnosed with COVID-19 and was hospitalized with the virus. She is now recovering and discusses her experience and how she relied on technology to communicate not only with her doctors, but to stay connected to her family and friends.


Six years ago I made a decision to leave Lebanon and move to the United States. I won’t lie, life wasn’t easy those first couple of years, but if it wasn’t for New York I wouldn’t have stayed. I rented my first apartment in Brooklyn. Oh Brooklyn, the quietest borough among the 5 boroughs, you quieted my soul. Among a million beating hearts, you could still hear the cigarettes burning on balconies.
A couple of years later I joined the Yamaha UC team in Massachusetts. I had to move again, but it wasn’t hard this time. Yamaha UC is more a family than a company. But if you know me well you know I would drive back to New York every other weekend because I still consider it home to me, and when you miss home you always hope to be back.
Because of quarantine, March 3rd was my last visit. It’s hard to explain the mixed feelings I have now but, with the tools my company provides, my friends and I have the ability to have our virtual coffee parties. We should always adapt to our circumstances one way or another, but the most important thing is to keep our #humanconnection.


"It felt like we were worlds apart from most of our family when my grandfather passed away. Only a few of us were able to attend the funeral and wake due to our location, but thankfully I was able to set up a large "conference call" with the rest of our family on the west coast to all be together. We may have been on opposites sides of the US but seeing and hearing each other's voices made us feel together when we needed it the most."


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"The unfortunate situation we are all in right now with COVID-19 has forced so many changes in our lives.  I was concerned about how I could still provide pediatric speech and feeding therapy services to my clients.  However, with lots of research and the use of some new tools, I managed to get my practice set-up with teletherapy services quickly and can continue to provide quality services to most of my client families.
I am using a HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing service developed for speech therapists called Theraplatform; a Huddly web cam for projecting my presence to the client; a Lumens document camera for sharing hardcopy materials used in therapy; and a Yamaha USB-connected speakerphone as my microphone and speaker output for my sessions.
There are some issues you need to deal with at times to overcome technical problems such as internet bandwidth and PCs locking up, but in general it is working out great and has expanded my capabilities for my services. My clients are thrilled that their children are still getting critical therapy for their communication and feeding needs."

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