Staying connected, while social distancing

How you can stay connected to your community while maintaining social distance.

16 April 2020

In the space of a few short weeks, the normal rhythm and pace of life for millions of Australians changed. A suite of measures recommended by health experts and government authorities to protect people from the spread of the COVID-19 suddenly means were all spending more time in our homes, and a lot less time out socialising. Terms like ‘self-isolation’ and ‘social distancing’ have entered our everyday lexicon and a lot of people are understandably feeling anxious.

But social distancing doesn’t have to equal social isolation. There are many small steps you can take that can have a cumulatively large impact on your own wellbeing, and those of the community around you.

Be a helper

While all of us are feeling the impact of COVID-19 on our daily lives, it’s important to remember that some are more severely affected than others. The elderly, disabled, and those with pre-existing medical conditions are at higher risk and are often less mobile, making it even harder for them to get access to everyday essentials and often leaving them cut off from social interactions. 

Stronger together

There are also a large number of parents who are heavily impacted by the closure of childcare providers or the self-isolation of grandparents who would normally help to care for their children while they go to work. For parents working in healthcare and essential services, the situation is especially difficult.  If you are currently well and able to assist with simple tasks like shopping, posting mail, or even just a friendly phone call of support, reach out to your neighbours who might be in need. Call, text, or leave a note in the mailbox to let them know that you’re here to help with anything they may need. 

Share the love 

There’s no doubt that we’re facing one of the most challenging times in recent history, yet there are still plenty of incredible things happening around the world. From dolphins and swans returning to Venice’s canals, to countless small businesses digging into their own pockets to offer essentials to the vulnerable; there is so much joy to be found outside  of the mainstream news cycle.

This is the perfect time to switch up your habits and your social feeds to bring a little more good news into your life, and to pass on this positivity to your community. If your neighbourhood has an existing Facebook group for residents, use it. And if one doesn’t already exist, start one yourself and invite your neighbours to join. These groups can become a place for community members to ask for and offer support, share good news stories and acts of kindness from around the world, sharing resources that they’ve found helpful during these challenging times.

Get creative

The situation we find ourselves in poses a number of unique challenges as we attempt to shift our normal lifestyles to confined spaces. If a fitness instructor in Spain can teach a class from the roof of his apartment building to surrounding residents on their balconies, what other creative ideas are out there for us to think up? 

In the wake of the cancellation of public ANZAC Day gatherings, residents at our Brookhaven community in QLD plan to join together to organise a moment of silence shared from the end of their respective driveways. And at our Fairwater community in Blacktown, one resident has established a free street library where residents who are social distancing can come to pick up some reading material. Normal transmission might be interrupted for a little while, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find innovative ways to maintain our routines in the meantime!  

If you have experience working with children, share some kid-friendly art and craft projects that can be done easily at home using household items. If you’re a yoga instructor, upload a film or livestream a virtual class for your Facebook friends. If you’re a chef or terrific home-cook, share your best recipes using non-perishable and easily available ingredients. All of us have unique knowledge and skills to bring to the table, so don’t be afraid to get out there and share your talents with those around you. 

We’re in this together

The important thing to remember is that you’re not alone. Fostering social connection and community resilience has always been at the forefront of the Frasers Property approach. Our Community Development managers are skilled at bringing people together, even if it’s on- rather than offline. If you’re living in a Frasers community, you can reach out to them through our social pages any time.

For everyone else, kindness is key. Ask for help if you need it or offer it if you have capacity. We don’t know when this crisis will pass, but we know that it will. Until then, we’re all in this together. And together we stand stronger and more resilient than if we stand alone.   

For more Live Proud stories, have a read through our latest edition of the Live Proud magazine below.

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