Community responses to Covid-19
by Gemma Lawrence
The last few weeks have seen an explosion in citizen-led action in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, we looked at the 1000s of Covid-19 Mutual Aid groups that have been set up across the UK, coordinating care efforts for people who are self-isolating in their local communities. This week, we look at some other emerging activities.
Nextdoor describes itself as the ‘neighbourhood hub for trusted connections and the exchange of helpful information, goods, and services’ which aims to ‘cultivate a kinder world where everyone has a neighbourhood they can rely on’. Members of Nextdoor are now mobilising around the coronavirus crisis, as per the suggestions in a recent blog How can you use Nextdoor to help your neighbours in a time of need? These include offering time and support, checking in on vulnerable neighbours, delivering food shops and picking up prescriptions. Members can also create local coronavirus support groups via Nextdoor, using the groups to digitally check in on neighbours and work out who needs extra support.
Newspeak House is a college committed to the study of ‘emerging communities of practice across UK public sector and civil society’. They have put together a Coronavirus Tech Handbook, an open document that aims to provide
‘a library for technologists, civic organizations, public and private institutions, researchers, educators and specialists of all kinds to collaborate on an agile and sophisticated response to the coronavirus outbreak.’
It provides advice on a range of topics including self-isolation, parenting, homelessness, isolation in an abusive environment, remote work, co-operatives and unions, self-employment, unemployment, volunteering and mutual aid, and medicine and care. It also provides advice on institutional responses for the public/private sector, charities and civil society organisations.
Extinction Rebellion argue the pandemic
‘calls for an evolution – not a shelving – of our rebellion. This is a time to remember what we are rebelling for – a thriving and just world of regenerative cultures that can weather crises, foster cooperation and look after each other on a global scale.’
In response, they have created the #AloneTogether Handbook, providing resources on building personal and community resilience, wellbeing tips, 1-2-1 support options and a programme of online events including a Corona Support and Sharing Space, webinars, workshops and listening spaces.
ECOLISE, the European Network for Community-Led Initiatives on Climate Change and Sustainability, have compiled a page on ‘community responses to covid-19’. It provides databases of community groups, information on deliveries, food, educating children at home, and citizen-led campaigns relating to the coronavirus. It also details some of the media response through different perspectives: solidarity, gender, class, and minorities, ecological, economic and political.
Please get in touch to tell us about other community responses to the coronavirus: gemmalawrence3[at]gmail.com
Read our coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.