Gloria Estefan jokes she has become a “virtual reality grandma” as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The “Conga” hit maker has been careful to stay isolated and social distance as much as possible since the start of the health crisis, and that has meant missing out on seeing her eight-year-old grandchild, Sasha, from her son Nayib’s marriage to stylist Lara Coppola.
However, Estefan has found an innovative new way to bond with her pride and joy from the comfort of her home in Miami, Florida.
“I am ‘VR grandma’,” she told US talk show The View, laughing, “We even have a theme song…!”
The singer reveals the virtual reality technology allows her to do all kinds of activities with the youngster: “We’re in the same room sculpting stuff, we play together,” she said, “and he calls me every time he has a break, because he’s doing school digitally… You make it happen, you make it work, that’s all you can do.”
Estefan has adopted the same approach to America’s Thanksgiving holiday this year, after having to scrap her family’s 13th annual Feed a Friend event, through which they partner with various charity organizations to provide festive dinners to those in need, serving nearly 3,000 people in 2019.
“We can’t do it this year because it’s just not safe, so we made donations to each and every one of the organizations that has come out to help them give a good Thanksgiving to the people who are part of the organization (sic),” Estefan explained.
“At home, I always host Thanksgiving dinner. This year, we’re going to do it by Zoom, everybody in their own home, because a couple of the people that come are elderly.”
The star hopes that following coronavirus, safety protocols will enable everyone to enjoy a brighter 2021: “We’re really trying to stay as safe as possible, so that next year there is going to be a big blowout…,” she continued. “We’ll have the vaccines, God willing, everything will look completely different from this year, but our job (right now) is to stay as safe as possible.”