Sometimes situations arise which force us to look a life through a different lens. Like an unwelcome invitation to assess where we are; as individuals, families, communities, businesses and countries.
When Ed set up Rethink Now late in 2018 it was on the back of his frustration around the daily commute and how unsafe it was for him and his family trying to get to school. The hope was that Rethink Now could inspire and encourage people to begin to rethink the way they lived day to day;
- The way we travel
- The way we interact with our communities
- The way we look after our little corner of Planet Earth in the hope that it might have a bigger impact globally
We never expected that a global rethink would be forced upon us all
So far 2020 has thrown up some serious stinkers. The fires, the floods and now COVID-19 and the chaos that only a global pandemic can bring – empty supermarket shelves, nationwide lock downs and a particularly strange shortage of toilet rolls.
As a CIC we have already had to rethink our events and community interaction. We have lost income as so many of you will have but are so full of hope that this massive global crisis will genuinely lead to a step change in the way we all live and we will be left with more connected and empathic communities and that we will all come through this stronger together.
When we’re on ‘lockdown’ there is plenty of time for reflection and introspection, which, in too large a dose isn’t healthy. This enforced slowdown is causing anxiety, confusion and uncertainty but it is also enabling parents to spend more time with their children, it has led to families forgetting feuds and has seen our NHS workers recognised (finally!) as the heroes that they are. For our own mental health it is really important that we look for the positives wherever possible and actually, there are LOTS…
We would really LOVE to hear the positive stories in your area so we can start a positivity pandemic; here are some of our take aways.
As soon as the news started to get serious about C-19 messages began to pop up on my village social media feed. People were offering shop runs, telephone calls, newspaper drops and so on. There are print outs doing the rounds so we can drop notes in to the neighbours with our name, contact number and a tick list of what we can help with. For those that live some distance away from their own families it is offering the opportunity to do for others what we hope will be done for our parents and vulnerable family members. It has taken a global pandemic for many of us to learn our neighbours’ names but whatever the reason, now we’re connected, I don’t want wellness to get into the way of these new relationships. They’re the little things that make up the fabric of daily life that for too long many of us have been too busy for.
As supply chains dry up and even common products become more difficult to come by small, local businesses are coming into their own. Milk men and women are making daily deliveries of bread, milk, juice and an increasing variety of goods to those self-isolating. Independent shops are offering to wrap, pack and hand deliver gifts and care packages to those self-isolating or to friends and relatives that have a birthday or occasion if you can’t get into the shop because you’re ill or self-isolating. Swathes of festivals, fairs and events which independents would usually get a large proportion of their sales and income from have been cancelled so people are turning to social channels to prop up sales and sell gift vouchers for future dates and experiences. I was really moved by a post from Jack Monroe recently who has helped so many with her budget recipes and, now some of her contracts have been cancelled, it is her turn to be helped. Such is life and her fans and followers are coming through. Buying less, buying more locally and buying more consciously has been on the fringes of many peoples minds for some time- it cuts plastic, cuts carbon and helps the high street but…. Online and supermarkets are just so easy…until they’re too empty of products or too full of other people. Local is personal, it is supporting our community and it really needs us!
Businesses have moved heaven and earth to ensure that it is possible and profitable for staff to work from home because now it’s about theirsurvival and convenience, not yours. A few businesses have been the exception but in the main, historically flexible working is a fight. Motherpukka has been championing flexible working for years but nothing has had the impact that C-19 has. So, once life settles down again, flexible working will still be possible- for parents, for carers, for anyone looking for a better balance so lets hope this is something that sticks.
Right now we are all on some rollercoaster of emotion and changing details and directives are tricky to handle; Sometimes I’m very keep calm and carry on and at other times I am a nervous wreck wondering about where my next pay cheque will come from and when but, as the messages and meme’s are reminding me- I’m not in the trenches, I’m not on my own and we will get through this together.
Fingers crossed, come September this storm will have passed and we will be well ready for some serious social interaction and some well deserved fresh air and fun.
Hang in there guys.
Loads of love,
Ed and Tanya