Communities Fearful to Love

My childhood has been filled with uncles, aunties, grandparents and the extended family. Technically everyone was considered family – the butcher, the baker and even the candlestick maker – everyone was to be addressed as an uncle or an aunt. If we were to be found misbehaving in public – it was the community’s ‘right’ to discipline us.

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My childhood has been filled with uncles, aunties, grandparents and the extended family. Technically everyone was considered family – the butcher, the baker and even the candlestick maker – everyone was to be addressed as an uncle or an aunt. If we were to be found misbehaving in public – it was the community’s ‘right’ to discipline us.

How much has changed in the 40 years since my existence on this planet. For today we are now encouraged to an isolated way of life. A life of social distancing, a life which encourages that small, tight-knit communities are harmful to the pandemic.

Naturally we are to expect the rising levels of depression, anxiety, PTSD and segregation. For now, speaking to strangers and opening up to welcoming friendships have been covered by masks that hide the beautiful smiles God has given us to what look like an emotionless engagement of guessing the once all-important body language.

Now if loneliness is a feeling of sadness or distress about being by yourself or feeling disconnected from the world around you, what other options are out there as an alternative for an embrace, smile or merely the visit of a loved one?

Community life and engagement can have a positive influence on mental health and emotional wellbeing. Community participation provides a sense of belonging and social connectedness. It can also offer extra meaning and purpose to everyday life.

Although there are many social groups on Facebook etc… if it does not have the genuine consideration for its member it merely becomes a marketing tool for business marketing and advertisement. Take for example, yesterday a lady on the “I Love Houghton” facebook group was requesting someone to adopt her baby… instead of the admin or its members seeing this as a red flag to assist the lady and reach out – the members seemed to have offered lists of NGOs/adoption agencies whilst a good great many merely ignored her.

We are concerned by what our community is becoming… we are concerned that people’s welfare and mental stability at this time would cause for decisions not usually of character. Hence we have opened a true community page for the people to become a support group, “Houghton Estate Residents”. We should discourage members who use community pages for business motives and those who do not live in the area.

“Stop calling for SOCIAL distancing”

We should never show prejudice to anyone’s illness, in doing so would be disrespecting, degrading for something that is beyond their ability to control. This COVID-19 virus is nasty for it’s turning us to selfish and self-centered people. Everyone wants to be prepared and that we are doing so without the consideration of another.

Everyone is saying that we should have social distancing – this goes against our community dynamics and further divides our already divided country. Instead of calling it “social distancing”, rather refer to it as “physical distancing” for this would be more appropriate as all that is going on in the country and the issues we face – we need each other and not to have social interactions is an absurdity.

Serving our community

We should never show prejudice to anyone’s illness, in doing so would be disrespecting, degrading for something that is beyond their ability to control. This COVID-19 virus is nasty for it’s turning us to selfish and self-centered people. Everyone wants to be prepared and that we are doing so without the consideration of another.

There is a growing taboo on anyone sneezing, coughing or showing any common signs of illness. We know that this is impossible in cases of hay-fever or the common cold, and now we are frowning upon such natural seasons of life; believing anyone showing any signs of Corona is a threat to your “sterile” life.

We must be courteous and kind in showing love to our neighbour – therefore as a gesture of love, IVOTESA, has gone into the community of Orange Grove to provide liquid soap to the unemployed. As the country stockpiles, there are the marginalised who are isolated, cut-off, and unable to purchase or stockpile. Many a times, they would go to the shops with little in their pockets only to find the shelves empty. In their desperation, there are the opportunists using the coronavirus crisis to hike up their profits without any consideration for the poor or needy.

Soap is only a small gesture, of now a very basic necessity. We are only as clean as our weakest neighbour. Let’s strengthen everyone around us at this time.
IVOTESA is looking for any donation of soap and cleaning products for us to distribute. We are also looking for volunteers willing to serve our community.