BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) – 2020 has been a lonely year. The pandemic has forced many to stay home instead of spend time with friends and family.

It has been especially isolating for senior citizens, who are at greater risk of getting the virus.

However, there is a bright side. A new study finds one in five North Dakota senior citizens has become more tech savvy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is a first for 92-year-old Bev Berry. She is reading to first graders via Zoom. The students were in their classroom at Bismarck’s Solheim elementary, while Berry was on the other side of town.

“It was really fun,” Berry said after the story time ended.

It is just one of many ways Berry has turned to technology to stay connected during the pandemic. She has always been interested in technology; she got her first computer in 1990 and her first cell phone 10 years ago.

“Now I got a new phone so at 92 I have to learn how to use it. That’s a challenge,” Berry said.

She uses her cell phone to connect with friends around the world.

“I have a relative in Sweden I keep in touch with,” she said.

Her kids, grandkids and great grandkids are just a text message away.

“I can be a part of their family and they can see who grandma is,” Berry explained.

Berry isn’t much for taking selfies.

“I don’t like pictures of me. I’m old!” she laughed.

Berry is happy to use her cell phone to listen to audio books. She borrows some from the library and buys others.

“Audible is right here on my cell phone I can hit that and see how many credits I have,” she says while clicking on the app.

Berry also uses her phone to shop.

“Amazon and I are good friends,” she said with a laugh.

Berry is anxious to get back to her real-life friends and activities.

“You know I was a Larkette last summer,” Berry said.

Until then, she will settle for these high-tech relationships. They keep her busy and connected with friends of all ages.

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