Community: the antidote to COVID-19 isolation

Dear friends and partners across the statutory, voluntary, community and faith sectors,

As the coronavirus crisis and lockdown continues, and our daily patterns of work have settled into a new norm, there are many positive things to take from what is a serious—and, for many, fearful—situation.

It’s widely agreed that this will be a time of advancement in technology, medicine and science. The virus represents a particular attack on togetherness—community—seeking to plunge people into social isolation. But actually, I think it gives us opportunity to further advance what we at LifeLine Projects have believed and lived for the past 20 years.

While we are seeing heightened levels of fear in society—not without some justification—we are also seeing a greater expression of thankfulness. Perhaps the fear creates vulnerability; certainly, the lockdown does. But quarantine and shielding demand a dependence on others, which gives us all the opportunity to serve each other. And this produces thankfulness.

For example, see the note sent to our delivery helpers over the weekend—or think of the weekly clap for carers.

In the UK, adversity seems to make us stronger; the older generation and the historians amongst us will be aware of the impact the Blitz had on the East End in terms of building community. This coronavirus will make us stronger as a community and, I believe, we will see positives come from the negatives:

Negatives that can produce…

Positives

  • Fear
  • Vulnerability
  • Lockdown, furlough, and redundancy
  • Physical isolation
  • Illness and death
  • Thankfulness
  • Availability to be served
  • Capacity to serve
  • Appreciation of community and technological community solutions
  • Resilience

As people are crying out for community, we are finding new and creative ways to love and care for people, regardless of the social distancing and isolation. I’m expecting that we will find new opportunities to connect with people—those who were already struggling, already lonely, or who we haven’t connected with in a long time.

My hope it that we carry this new wave of community beyond the lockdown, back into our post-pandemic society.

Let’s not be defined by the fear that’s so predominant these days, but let’s encourage one another. As we do that, we’ll advance, not only in our technology, medicines and systems across local authorities and health services, but also in our sense of community.

Here are some examples of how LifeLine are responding to the current situation:

Do continue to connect with us online during this time, as in the normal course of life:
Follow us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter

Our posts include updates, photos and short messages of hope, as well as pointing the way to find what you might need across the locality.

We urge you to follow all the Government’s social distancing guidelines and encourage you to share the safe and creative ways you are finding to connect. We look forward to sharing them across our network!

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Nathan Singleton

Nathan Singleton

Director of Young People's Services

Nathan is passionate about improving the lives of young people. Whether by empowering a young person to engage in education where no-one else has, or reaching a family that the statutory sector has given up on, Nathan is single-minded in his determination to provide an alternative, positive, future for young people.