Posted 4 March, 2021 OBI BLOG
The ability to stay connected in numerous senses has dramatically changed over the past eleven months due to government restrictions and multiple lockdowns. Though staying home protects everyone’s physical health, having little to no physical contact with those outside of our home can be detrimental to our mental wellbeing. The pandemic has adversely impacted the ability to connect to family, friends, colleagues, and clients.
OBI’s staying connected series focuses on the power of staying connected and the positive experiences some of our team have experienced over the past year.
Series 3 – How did we come together as a community during lockdown?
By Jordana Anderson who is part of our Transactions and Asset Management team
In times of uncertainty and hardship, community is more important than ever. We rely on those around us for solidarity, support, guidance, information, and empathy.
Although each one of us has had a completely different experience with COVID-19 and the lockdown, the same phrases have been prominent in every household; ‘new normal’, ‘WFH’, ‘social distancing’, the list goes on. Most of us have been working from home, some people in complete isolation, others taking on the role of a teacher. It hasn’t been easy, but the power of community over the last year seems to be a silver lining for many.
So many different communities have been formed as a result of the pandemic; online communities offering workshops or tutorials, WhatsApp groups with neighbours offering support, claps for the NHS staff each Thursday and charities. Neighbours, friends, colleagues and even strangers have been there for one another during a difficult time.
The pandemic has seen new initiatives from communities working together to cheer us up, help each other out, or simply prevent feelings of isolation such as ‘United We Stream’ – a platform that streams live music to raise money for local music venues, theatres, bars and restaurants that are unable to open during the lockdown.
Posters for the people, a project created by ‘In Good Company’ is another incredible example of a powerful initiative that brightened up walls, windows, billboards…and faces around Manchester and Leeds with vibrant and uplifting quotes designed by local artists.
I think the pandemic is revitalising the concept of community for the 21st century and is radically changing the meaning of community itself. Paradoxically, it may bring people closer together.