While the mass media is quick to share stories of toilet paper hoarding and other unpleasantness related to COVID-19, Facebook and Instagram are awash with examples of people going above and beyond to help their fellow human beings through these challenging times. Dubbed caremongering, this new movement has quickly gained momentum around the world.
What is caremongering?
In response to the scaremongering taking place due to the coronavirus pandemic, caremongering was created to encourage people to connect with each other in a positive way. The idea is to help spread the opposite of fear, driving a sense of community and helping those who are more vulnerable.
People from many different backgrounds are joining these online groups to help others within their community, particularly those more at risk from coronavirus. Popular activities include:
- going to the supermarket to pick up groceries
- posting mail
- walking dogs for those who can’t leave the house
- running urgent errands
- taking the time for a phone call with a lonely neighbour.
Over last few months, there has been an explosion of caremongering groups online, including The Kindness Pandemic (Facebook), which has almost 600,000 members at the time of writing. While some groups boast members from many different countries, others are more community focused, only accepting members from the same neighbourhood.
Ripples in a pond
As well as people seeking or offering help, these groups give members a chance to share acts of goodwill as an uplifting reminder that it’s not all doom and gloom out there. The #thankapostie hashtag is trending worldwide, with people leaving artistic messages for their posties. In various communities, people are leaving teddy bears in the front windows of their houses so local children can participate in a game of I-spy as they walk around the neighbourhood. And the recent 'clap-for-health-professionals' saw thousands sharing clips of themselves standing on balconies to show their appreciation for the brave men and women on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19.
Big (hearted) business
Many businesses, some of whom are impacted by social distancing measures, are not only finding ways to stay afloat, but also striving to make a difference in their communities, from small cafes delivering meals to vulnerable people to supermarket chains setting aside the first hour of trading especially for the elderly. Banks are getting in on the action too, with most financial institutions offering relief to help their members keep their head above water until this crisis has passed.
Want to get involved?
At Teachers Mutual Bank we understand the importance of community. In these uncertain times, we encourage our members to come together and support one another.
If you would like to join the global caremongering movement, here are three ways to get started: We’re all going through the same thing, so please be kind to others.
Where you are comfortable to do so, and it is safe for you and others, we encourage you to make sure that any vulnerable or isolated members of your neighbourhood are okay during these difficult times.
Join an online, community based group, which is a great way to share information and stay connected with others.
Learn more about our COVID-19 response at www.tmbank.com.au/coronavirus and stay up-to-date with all the latest government health information at www.health.gov.au and your state or territory equivalents.