Life in pandemic times: your community depends on you

Are you one of the lucky few? If, this morning, you are working from home, with money in the bank and a regular paycheque; if your fridge is full and your mortgage or rent paid, you’re doing better than most. Even with all the turmoil, uncertainty, and the disruption of having your kids nearby as you try to work, you are one of the few lucky ones. It might not be easy to work from home in isolation and under the cloud of a pandemic, but you are doing really well, considering the circumstances.

You’re fortunate to be immune to the tragedy others are facing, right in your own community. This week, I spoke with people from your neighbourhood who are, right now, losing their livelihood: the barber or hairdresser who’s cut your hair for years; your personal trainer and fitness instructor; your favorite dance teacher; your therapist and your coach; the little café where you got your latte. They’ve been there for you, all along, and they are losing their livelihood. The government might give a bit of help so families don’t starve, but they can’t afford to keep paying business rent and expenses without an income. They are going down, and their small local business won’t survive. I’ve spoken with a few of them and I am shocked by how bad it is. We have the power to keep them alive by being there for them.

Pay it forward – your community needs you. Your small local businesses are going under right now, and any help will help them. Now more than ever as we experience physical isolation, we realize the importance of a healthy community. We need to believe that people are doing their very best to pull through without asking for help. If you want your local community to survive and bounce back, this is what you need to do today instead of thinking that you should do it sometime. “Sometime” is now:

  1. Buy now the services you’ll need in a few months from now. For instance, buy your next three haircuts and pay for them today. How about paying your massage therapist or naturopath for your next few appointments?
  2. Register and pay now for online dance, yoga or fitness classes. Register for a virtual spring session. Small neighbourhood studios are fast converting their classes to the virtual world; please support them. Break isolation, get an uplift, get fit and build community all at once.
  3. Schedule and pay now for coaching or therapy sessions. Your coach or therapist is a small business, too. Reserve and pay upfront today for your next five or ten sessions, to help them support you as you go through change and uncertainty. And if your workplace pays for them, you’re luckier than most – invest in your and their future.
  4. Tip really well – if you get anything delivered, this is not the time to save on tips; help people who are helping themselves by taking on a low-pay job. Tip 20% or more; but anything helps.
  5. Invest in your small local café – get your coffee from your local coffee shop, not from the large chains. Invest local. And picture yourself having a latte at your favorite place this summer.

Are we really all in this together?


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