The covid19 pandemic caught everyone by surprise. There was no time to prepare for it very much, or at all. After restrictions were put into place, there was little space to be outside or even leave the house altogether. Life changed dramatically almost overnight. Now that some restrictions have been lifted, things are still strange, and there is a permanent feeling that they are not what they used to be. Bearing in mind our past experiences, it is difficult to grasp what has happened. In some ways, it feels like we are part of a sci-fi movie, that what we are living now is something that we have seen on TV before, and it is hard to match reality with fantasy. I think our brains are trying to adjust to the thought that a situation like this was never supposed to be something of the real world.
The speed at which things took place has also been significant. It is similar in situations where people have little time to adapt. Sadly, this happens often. People lose a close friend or relative without warning and need to adapt to a life without them. People also lose a job without much notice and there is a steep process to be employed again. It is in these situations when we need resilience tools the most, and yet, people seldom have knowledge or access to them. In the end, situations like these can happen any time to anyone in a different context.
The situation also applies to vulnerable people who are usually in need of help, for example, elderly people who live alone. Often, the health crisis has meant that they have received help and support that they did not have before. Perhaps there is an opportunity for that support to continue after the crisis ends. There is a free toolkit called “Stop the Curve” (“Frena la Curva” in Spanish: www.es.mapa.frenalacruva.net/views/map) that takes the form of a map where people can post different types of services they can offer during the coronavirus lockdown restrictions in the country. People can also request help with services, which include:
- Go the pharmacy for someone in need, eg.: an elderly person.
- Go shopping for someone who needs it.
- Care for someone
- Walk a dog
- Take care of children
- Help with information and orientation regarding public services available, public funds, administrative issues
The team has considered using this tool as a ‘community resilience tool’ that can also be applied to places and to conservation, for example, by pointing out areas where people can help with recycling facilities, growing urban gardens and others.
This is a resource that vulnerable people could use at any point to overcome unexpected difficulties, not only where is a health crisis.