Community and Covid

I (Michaela) have been doing a lot of adjusting to these past few months. On top of the pandemic I’ve also had a major coming of age moment and have moved into my first apartment. While I’ve been living mostly in Guelph for the past three years, this is the first time I will have a permanent address. The move to independence seems to be more grand as I am social distancing by myself. While I am somewhat jealous of my peers who can social distance with friends or family I know this is the best choice for me.

In order to prevent loneliness during this time I have been searching for community in different ways then I usually do. What I found was, while FaceTime tea parties and Zoom yoga classes are great, they often left me feeling more disconnected. My friends who would normally be with me are now only accessible through a screen the whole thing just seemed fake. 

However there is a sense of community in knowing that everyone is experiencing this on some level. I have also noticed that my local community has stepped up in caring for one another through Facebook groups. I’ve seen people leave birthday cupcakes on door steps, sew masks for each other, and  painting rocks.

The rocks I find particularly interesting. For the past few weeks there has been a gratitude garden growing outside of the Guelph General Hospital. The garden is made up of painted rocks that say thank you to essential workers or give messages of hope. I think this is especially beautiful because it is not only art that is bringing people together, but it is a physical representation of community that we otherwise can’t have. Art like this reminds me that I am not alone.

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