The world experienced massive disruptions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has not only posed a threat to public health and people’s lives. It has also impacted every community across the globe by disrupting livelihoods, jobs, businesses, schools, families, relationships, and even forms of recreation.
It’s good that the global community has managed to cope with the pandemic after almost two years. At this juncture, the focus must be on community building. But whether you’re a community leader, member, or volunteer, what does it take to help build your immediate community?
While the COVID-19 crisis is here to stay, the goal is to go back to normalcy. Along with this is to protect public health, foster overall well-being, and provide for the community’s needs. That said, here’s how to rebuild your community during this pandemic:
1. Update your community about the COVID-19 crisis till it’s over
At the onset of the pandemic, you must have educated your immediate community about the COVID-19 crisis. You have consistently provided updates about the positive cases in your locality. Along with this is to orient and reinforce health and safety protocols. These include getting vaccinated, wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, frequent hand-washing, and monitoring health. While the pandemic isn’t yet over, continue to update your community about the crisis. Also, let them know about what is happening in your locality.
2. Continue to clean and disinfect public spaces and places
Cleaning and disinfecting are still imperative while the various strains of the novel coronavirus linger. While cleaning involves removing germs and particles on surfaces or objects, disinfecting entails killing microorganisms. As a community member, ensure to keep your residential space free of the novel coronavirus. But as a community leader, continue to have your workers clean and disinfect your public places regularly.
3. Address the various needs of your community
As mentioned above, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted various aspects of your community, from jobs to livelihoods to food supplies. It’s good that some pandemic restrictions have now gotten lifted. These have allowed businesses and institutions to go back to their usual operations. But as part of your community-building strategy, see how you can meet the various community needs. It’s about time to start rebuilding your community!
4. Support local businesses and provide them with opportunities
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit many businesses across various industries. In fact, some small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) that went on a temporary hiatus ended up having closed for good. It’s good that some businesses have managed to survive, while a few others have thrived. As a community leader, continue to work with local enterprises and provide them with the utmost support. For instance, help your local businesses to transition to click-and-mortar stores.
Also, assist entrepreneurs looking to launch their startups during this pandemic. That way, these new, surviving, and flourishing enterprises can help meet your community’s needs.
5. Leverage the use of web and social media
The pandemic restrictions such as lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have led individuals and families to rely on the internet heavily. They also depend on social media for communicating and interacting with friends and colleagues amid the pandemic. Think of adults working from home (WFH), children having their online education, and entrepreneurs doing business online.
As a community leader, leverage the use of web and social media to benefit your community. As a community member, take advantage of the web to push through with your endeavors. For instance, take a driver learner’s permit test online if you’re looking to hit the road.
6. Ask for volunteers and get everyone involved
Community building is no easy feat, especially during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The challenge doesn’t only lie to local authorities and community leaders. All stakeholders involved in a given community must do their part, from local businesses to food suppliers to hospitals and medical facilities. If possible, ask for volunteers in your community to help in information dissemination, mass vaccination, and community outreach.
Most importantly, ensure that every household or family does their part in mitigating the COVID-19 infection and helping restore the community. When everyone gets involved, community rebuilding is underway towards success.
At this point, you now know what it takes to build your community during this pandemic. Whether a community leader, member, or volunteer, be sure to consider the crucial strategies recommended above. While the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t yet over, everyone must partake in supporting its immediate community and providing for the constituents’ needs. Ultimately, community building is key to emerging robust and resilient in the new normal.