Covid and Community
Since COVID-19 struck…
“Since COVID-19 struck, we have heard the word Community more than ever before.” This is how I have started over one hundred talks to Rotary Clubs across Canada and the United States.
“Community” is no longer an abstract concept – it is something we now recognize that we need, something that has been jeopardized and too often destroyed by the restrictions put in place to fight COVID-19. The pandemic has brought into clear focus the innate and fundamental importance of Community.
Human beings need Community like they need oxygen.
Following the talks at the Rotary meetings, I have a Q&A session. Invariably, someone asks one of these questions;
#1 “How can we build Community when we can’t get together?”
#2 “How can we heal the divisive ideologies that have become a part of our culture?”
#3 “How will we ever feel comfortable being close to people again once this is over?”
To question #1 I say, when times are tough, we need to be tougher, more creative; we need to think outside the box. In October of 2020 when I began speaking to Rotarians, all the clubs were meeting on Zoom’s platform, and now, even though many are able to meet in person, many clubs are retaining the hybrid aspect as long as even one person prefers to meet via Zoom. Kudos to Rotarians!
To question #2 I say, we reject any ideology, that divides us. Of course, we reject what divides us – why should there be any thought of doing otherwise?
To question #3 I say, it may take some time to feel comfortable in the situations that were once familiar to us. But we will get there. I anticipate with joy the time when we can plan coffee dates again, family dinners, and parties, when we can shake hands again, and we can hug the people we care about.
We have survived
And we continue to survive these seemingly endless months of upheaval and turmoil. We survive because we are resilient, creative, and strong and because we have insisted on preserving our communities. Belonging to a Community has never been more important: We have never heard the word more than we are hearing it today because we recognize, perhaps for the first time, how much we need Community in our lives.