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#caremongering in the Kindness Pandemic

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#caremongering in the Kindness Pandemic

Among the daily news of bad behaviour – selfish stockpiling, ignorant racism and reckless irresponsibility – come stories of great kindness: Communities looking out for each other and new friendships flowering, albeit at an appropriate social distance. 

“Caremongering, not scaremongering,” is the rallying cry of Canadian volunteers and altruists as they band together to bring food and essentials to their country’s most vulnerable. 

In the UK, an umbrella organisation, COVID-19 Mutual Aid UK, has been set up to manage the thousands of small volunteer community groups that have sprung up across the country. Self-isolating and need emergency supplies? A friendly phone call or a dog walked? COVID-19 Mutual Aid’s database helps connect Brits with people in their postcode area who can reach out to help. Across Australia, neighbourhoods have set up community Facebook and WhatsApp groups to bring people together.

Closeness had nothing to do with distance

As borders close and we edge closer towards lockdown in this season of uncertainty, it will be more important than ever to find ways to connect and care for each other.

Have you started yet?

Here are some practical ways you can look out for people in your community:

  • Leaflet your neighbourhood with offers to help
    Make sure they have your contact details so they know how to reach you.

    We wrote to everyone in our road and have received wonderful texts, emails and even hand-written notes in reply. We have got to know neighbours at the far end of our street who we’d never met before, including an elderly self-isolating couple who go out on their boat to chat to us from across the canal.


  • Set up a neighbourhood Facebook and/or WhatsApp group
    We had an amazing response to our Facebook group with 75% of our road now involved. 

  • Make phone calls or Skype/FaceTime
    A friendly chat with family members and neighbours can help alleviate some of the loneliness and anxiety exacerbated by self-isolation.

  • Share resources
    Got extra toilet-rolls or nappies or ... tinned tomatoes? How much do you really need? Be generous; share your stash. I have a friend who left 'gifts' of bags of rice and pasta at the gates of self-isolating neighbours.

  • Write letters
    While the postal service is still working, bring a smile to someone's face with an old-fashioned missive. Or get the kids to draw a funny picture with a short message and drop it in a neighbour's letterbox to let them know you're thinking of them.

  • Think beyond your friends, family and community

    • Residents in nursing homes and in elderly care are entirely cut-off and isolated at this time. You can't go in to visit but you could send letters, gifts, video messages etc*. Students from King's Pimpama campus are making Easter cards and goodies to send to residents of their local TriCare.

      * NB all goods sent to aged care institutions are quarantined for 24 hours

    • Contribute to food banks and charities that are helping the homeless during this crisis.
  • Support local businesses and services where possible
    Many people are struggling financially as businesses close or operate in a restricted capacity. Some local companies are selling off stock at discounted prices or demonstrating creativity by delivering their services in alternative ways.

    King's parents can visit our new King's Community Share and Sell 2020 Facebook group to support business and services in the college community and share resources:


How are you reaching out in the current crisis? Let us know in your comments below.

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Topics: Community, Mental Health, Friendship, COVID-19

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