Life During Coronavirus – How Neighbors Keep Connected

Life during coronavirus doesn’t have a shape yet. There’s bits and pieces all jammed together in this “New Normal,” like, keeping six feet apart. Staying home. Homeschooling. Trying to work. Keeping isolated.

But instead of circling the wagons, my neighborhood started reaching out. The messages popped up on our neighborhood website like daffodils.

“I can go shopping for anyone who can’t leave the house.”

“Would anyone like me to walk their dogs?”

“My kids’ string trio would be happy to give you a sidewalk concert!”

 

Then, the sidewalk messages as we strolled past each other’s houses, with chalk left invitingly to add a note or two of our own.

Life during coronavirus – how neighbors keep connected.

  • Neighbors started getting creative – my girlie Laurie’s magnificent fairy garden is open year-round, which changes for the seasons and the holidays. She left a basket of unpainted birdhouses for the kiddos around the block, inviting them to take one home to decorate and bring back to “help the fairies create spring.”

 

  •  One family in my neighborhood is creeping in under the cover of darkness to replace battered old mailboxes for neighbors with beautiful, hand-painted masterpieces that force you to smile when you see them.

 

  • In certain ways, I’ve felt closer to my community during the social distancing orders than I did before, because everyone’s reaching out in beautiful ways to bring happiness. Like the Garden Walk, one neighbor’s effort to cheer up passers-by with a chance to go through her glorious path filled to bursting with blooms.

 

  • With an eye to the Amazon.com and FedEx trucks circling our neighborhood like a series of one-winged hawks, my neighbor put out a big cooler of drinks and snacks, inviting them to help themselves.

Here’s the tally after six weeks of quarantine:

  1. We know the names of every family within a 3 block radius. (For the first time after living here for three years.)
  2. I know the neighbors who need me to pick up an extra gallon of distilled water for their CPAP machines.
  3. We go scootering (at six feet apart) with the kiddo and mom up the street who are as crazed from staying indoors as we are.
  4. A basket of toilet paper showed up on our doorstep one morning with the note: “What’s the difference between a shower curtain and toilet paper? Oh, so YOU’RE the one!” They delivered these to twenty different houses. That’s a lot of toilet paper jokes.

When the Kim String Trio performed on our sidewalk, they played beautifully while cars and cyclists and passersby stood and cheered. And really, there was something about hearing these three play that made me smile more today than I have in the last month.

How is your neighborhood supporting each during Life in the Time of Corona?

 

Are you taking care of yourself during this new normal? Gentle ways to care for yourself during uncertain times.

8 replies
  1. Liam Harrup
    Liam Harrup says:

    I’ve always been amazed at the wealth of talent that exists in small communities and neighborhoods. It’s a shame that it takes a pandemic to bring it out, but there is a real connection now.

    Reply
  2. Tami Day
    Tami Day says:

    I am the moderator for our neighborhood Facebook page. We have had different neighbors organize a chalk walk, and Easter egg hunt for the kids, a birthday drive-by parade, a returned missionary parade, they are talking about doing a drive-by parade for our high school seniors, and offers to go to the store or run any necessary errands.

    Reply
    • Todd & Erin
      Todd & Erin says:

      I love this idea! The Facebook group makes it so much easier to stay in contact and communicate. The Easter egg hunt was popular in our neighborhood, too. :)

      Reply
  3. Starley Brusch
    Starley Brusch says:

    This is similar to our experience: there was a real disconnect between the older, more established neighbors and the new “youngsters” moving in and remodeling everything. That has all changed over this last month or two. Everyone says “hi” and helps each other. We know who to check in on to make sure they’re okay, and my older neighbor baked cookies for us with her mask and gloves on. :)

    Reply
  4. Jenna Rowley
    Jenna Rowley says:

    These are such good ideas! It makes me all teary-eyed, we feel so isolated in our new town, we just moved here a couple of weeks before the shut downs. I’m going to try a couple of these ideas.

    Reply

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