Staying alone together

The ways in which we connect to one another have drastically changed as a result of the current state of the world due to the ongoing pandemic.

During this period I’ve really started to think about community and relationships, and what that means to me personally. Right now, many of us are working from home and, hopefully following Government advice to restrict outings unless absolutely necessary.

Everyone has their worries about having enough groceries to restrict having to brave a trip to the local Tesco, about their parents and grandparents who might be a couple cities away or their friends who might have developed a seasonal cold but they’re not quite sure if it’s just that or something else.

I know that my neighbour’s children have put up signs on their window asking people to stay safe and stay indoors accompanied by rainbows and clouds and it struck a chord in me that their parents had to have a conversation about what was going on in the world with them.

That’s when I thought to myself that it might be nice to get to know the people around me now that I was spending so much time at home- but not by knocking on their doors and introducing myself after all of three months that I’ve been in my new apartment.

No, I thought that the best way to get to know them was by posting a leaflet through their doors asking them if they needed any extra groceries on my next run or if someone was struggling to walk their dog and needed help or, and this was the one I felt most strongly about, if they just wanted someone to call and chat to because they felt a bit alone.

I think, when things get difficult, all we have is each other and that’s hard to do when you aren’t supposed to be leaving your house which is why I decided to reach out in a way that was safe and provided the sort of support I know I would want if I needed help.

Tough times call for tough measures but that doesn’t mean that we forget how to be kind and, if there’s any one lesson I take away from this strange and difficult time, it’s that we are stronger together- even if that means being physically alone.

If you’re interested in helping out within your community or provide extra support to the NHS, the Government are looking for volunteers and GoodSAM is a fantastic way to help others.

There are also organised groups on Mutual Aid and, if you either want or need help hyper locally, this is a great way to find whether there are groups within your immediate area who can provide some extra support.