How to help out your neighbours during the COVID-19 pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic is not going to go away overnight.
Some people feel helpless in the face of the virus and the restrictions that have impacted the feeling of community.
Yet, there is a feeling of community that still runs through suburbs throughout Australia. Even the new estates of Melbourne, the best of the best in future family living, still have a community feel.
Old vs. New Neighbourhoods
It’s often thought that older neighbourhoods have a clear advantage when it comes to building a community spirit and feeling of belonging.
That can be from the simple fact that families have grown up together and have shared experiences such as going to the same schools, sporting clubs or just passing one another in the street.These bonds can last a lifetime and bring a warmth to the area in which people live. It is often harder for new arrivals to the area to feel welcomed unless they proactively introduce themselves.
It has taken something as drastic as the Covid-19 pandemic to awaken some of that sense of community that can easily be taken for granted.
Ordinary people throughout Melbourne and Australia, indeed right across the globe, have taken the chance to look out for their neighbours during this outbreak and lockdowns.
Was it only restricted to areas where neighbours have known each other for years?
New Estates and Covid-19
Surprisingly to some, new estates that have been created across the suburbs have shown a similar sense of community.
In Melbourne’s South-East, you will find signs for quality built homes such as: Display Home Clyde, Berwick Water House and Land, or Clyde North Display Homes and Display Homes Cranbourne. Within those freshly formed communities there is a genuine concern for one another too.
It could be in the brief greeting as people have taken their opportunity to get out of their house and exercise through the nearby parklands and open spaces. It can be in the short visits to the local shops or supermarket. Sometimes it is in the mundane moments of sweeping the driveway or taking out the bins that people have asked one another how they are and if there is anything they need.
Small Gestures, Big Difference
Smaller things often mean the most. That has proven to be true throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
It’s more than the pictures of rainbows and hand-drawn signs in front windows. It’s more than the chalk messages on footpaths wishing passers-by the best with ‘Stay safe’ and ‘We are all in this together’.
It can be a small gesture like watering the neighbours flower bed or mowing their nature strip. There’s been drive-way celebrations where neighbours wave to one another from the safe social distance of their own property but join in the feeling of community.
Right across Australia, 100’s of volunteer groups have sprung up to help those who have been self-isolating during the coronavirus outbreak.
It has been a similar situation in England where tens of thousands have come forward offering to pick up shopping or deliver medicine to the most vulnerable across the country.
Here are just a few ideas around how you can help out your neighbours during the Covid-19 pandemic;
Check in every few days to see all is well (while maintaining social distance)
Ask if there is anything your neighbour needs when you are heading out
Invite them over to ask for their advice on your veggie patch
Find an excuse to have a chat just to tell them that you’re there if they need you
Share any news you have of what’s happening in your area
It doesn’t take much to help. It’s a reminder that those chalk messages are very true - We are all in this together and neighbours are more important than you think.
As the worst of the crisis passes and restrictions of movement are slowly lifted, it’s a chance to connect with your neighbours in different ways.
That is true in the older areas where families have grown up with one another and in new estates where young families begin that journey of finding what it means to live together.
The next time you see signs for the best new places to live, like Berwick Water House and Land, Clyde North Display Homes or Display Homes Cranbourne, remember that these are the new spaces where new neighbours will grow to share their warmth as a community.