So the inevitability of tighter restrictions on public gatherings looks only days away; with school closures, enforced working from home, overstretched essential workers suffering all very real consequences.
Beyond the immediate concern about ourselves and those we live with **and keeping perspective for a moment - most of us under-65 and without any underlying & serious health conditions/weakened immunity are going to be ok ** the more important concern to my mind is of its further transmission and spread: what happens during the coming weeks to those of our neighbours that become housebound because they either have the virus or are self-isolating out of fear due to being in a vulnerable group?
Rather than hopelessly speculate on 'what if' scenarios, I have a practical suggestion and plan for how HoL could come into its own and facilitate some real community spirit and solidarity. The aim being to keep an eye out for our neighbours, helping each other out. With the NHS almost at breaking point even before this came along, it becomes crucial that we do something at a community level now as we wont be able to rely on others to do it for us.
And it wouldn't take much effort...
If one, two or more residents on each street were to volunteer to fetch some shopping or medical supplies for a neighbour on their road once or twice a week, we would be making both a great individual and a wider social contribution to slowing the spread of the virus and reducing the strain on the NHS. If that same act gets replicated across the area in dozens, you can imagine over the days and weeks how this could mitigate the wider spread in a very small but nonetheless essential way. And foster plenty of community goodwill in the process.
If Hugh/HoL admin agreed, we could keep a pinned post of the street reps (HoL users) that could be contacted by DM here if someone goes into self isolation - or knows a neighbour that has. For various reasons it wouldn't be a good idea to publicly post which people or households are self-isolating, but street reps could keep each other updated and help across streets if need be.
Would anyone be interested in being involved as a street rep for shopping or other essential errands?
Constructive suggestions and improvements to the idea are definitely appreciated! - apathy and sarcasm won't be (there's a whole world of social media out there for that!)
UPDATED TO ADD (16.03.20)
Thanks to Hugh there is now a dedicated area on Harringay Online for the duration of the epidemic for local resources and contacts if you need help and to be visited to your door by a Street Rep
To volunteer as a Street rep text 07980 591375 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have WhatsApp follow this invite to join the Street reps organising group for the HoL area https://chat.whatsapp.com/LxCuIy1BcZvBMunk1JZBMy
Similar initiatives are springing up across London and Haringey. If you live beyond the immediate HoL area, you can give offers of help elsewhere in the borough here.
Good call Dermot. This is working in other affected European countries, like Madrid and we should have something in place for when the peak comes, in a few days. I'm up for it.
Hi Alex, if you want to text or email me your details I will add you to the list of volunteers. Thanks!
Yes, we have a few elderly neighbors on our street so yes, happy to pitch in- Pemberton.
Hi Justin, if you want to text or email me your details I will add you to the list of volunteers. Thanks!
I'd be happy to help on Burgoyne.
Hi Kirsten, if you want to text or email me your details I will add you to the list of volunteers. Thanks!
This is a great idea. I'd be up for that. PM me if you need a hand on chesterfield gardens
Hi Amit, if you want to text or email me your details I will add you to the list of volunteers. Thanks!
I'm up for this.
Only just moved here, so don't really know anyone yet, but happy to help. I'm on Kimberley.
So am I, been here for many years. Unfortunately I am unwell with a sore throat and today got a cough and will be following govt advice to self isolate, although have already been indoors for 12 days. Luckily I have my hubby to shop etc, but others will be housebound. When I am better, fit and healthy I could also help in Kimberley.
Ahh I'm sorry to hear that Michele. If you two need anuthing DM me through here and I 'll do for you if I can. X
I’d be up for that, great idea. PM me if you are in Warham