From online to front porches: neighbours supporting each other during COVID-19 isolations

Facebook groups created to support community members in isolation reach out if they need help.

When living in a small town, the phrase that comes to mind is “people know you by your first name.”

With so many close-knit communities around Wetaskiwin County, neighbours are looking to help each other out during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a time of frustration and uncertainty community members like Robyn Black, 42, from Millet are trying to organize a way to check-in on each other. Inspired by other town’s rant and rave page suggestions on Facebook, Black suggested a way to help fellow community members feel safe and supported in wake of unprecedented stress.

With immense positive support from Wetaskiwin rant and rave members, Black created the Facebook page “Wetaskiwin/ Millet and county people helping people”.

The Facebook group was created to start a thread to help the community stay connected—posting about what they need, and what they have to give. Easy to join and communicate on, the page is focused on helping members of the community.

For some people, isolation within their homes due to the novel coronavirus has already begun. Those individuals generally rely on family and the community around them for necessities not already in the home, like grocery delivery to the doorstep.

Black says she felt strongly about taking the extra step from seeing a great idea in other community pages to make it happen in her county because of her grandmother.

“I have an 83-year-old grandma and she’s my whole world.” Black’s grandmother is already in self-isolation. Black recognizes that there are many in the community like her grandmother that either didn’t have the time or resources to prepare for the minimum 14 days of isolation.

Besides “Wetaskiwin/Millet and county people helping people” Black urges people to also look at other Facebook pages with the same intent and see what they can do. The wider the net of support the better.

A similar Facebook group is ‘Millet Corona Virus/ COVID 19 Isolation Citizen Support Group.”

“This is a really uncertain time,” Black says, “I just would like to see good come from this.”

A community rallying in times of need to support one another is exactly the kind of good that Black was hoping for.

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