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Social connectivity in a pandemic

  • 30 March 2020
Life as we know it has been vastly transformed in the past few weeks, with most people around the world staying at home due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. International and domestic trips, businesses, events are all being cancelled in droves. It’s a stressful and anxious time for many people. Yet, the expression to ‘look for the helpers’ whenever a crisis occurs is an apt one in this situation. People are looking for social connectivity and ways to express kindness to others in practising social distancing under direction of medical experts.

In an age of internet connectivity, people are innovating to ensure that we can still be connected and that events which are cancelled in real life can proceed in a virtual setting. Here’s a short list out of an expanding stream of positive social movements occurring at the moment to compensate for the effects of the pandemic.

People are finding ways to connect despite the physical separation and this is evident in how Pub Choir, which is usually hosted at The Tivoli in Brisbane, became Couch Choir. Three videos were uploaded with three parts for participants to learn their part by singer and Pub Choir director, Astrid Jorgensen. Individuals recorded videos of them singing their part once perfected. The finished result is an amassed recording of over 1000 voices from 18 countries of Close to You. Other choirs like The Viral Choir have been undertaking similar activities.

On Facebook, several groups have sprung up for people to chat and connect during isolation. Quarantine with Jam and Clare is a group with around 5,000 members, spearheaded by public figures Jamila Rizvi and Clare Bowditch. The group has been hosting live events for people to gather including folding washing together, baking sessions and catch ups over tea. The space has become a haven of support and encouragement to others in strange times.

A group which now encompasses nearly 250,000 members, The Kindness Pandemic was created because the need was recognised for people to hear and participate in acts of kindness at this time. People are sharing stories of personal kindness that they have experienced, as well as media stories of kindness in this pandemic.

Several state-based groups across Facebook have formed under the title of Adopt a Healthcare Worker. These groups aim to provide support to medical professionals working on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals take on care for