Interesting read, Kylie. Have you seen any research into whether Covid lockdowns have generated any revitalized local community spirit, and whether this is being maintained as lockdowns are eased? If we are to move into much more challenging times in the years (generations) to come, I am wondering if this may trigger such a shift in behaviours back towards a social commons?
I haven’t seen that kind of research yet, no, but have certainly been wondering about it. Hopeful, even. Does it count that I’m personally starting to poke my curious nose into a local commons lab? (Not something I would have predicted I’d do pre-Covid.)
How about you? Do you presently have a sense of what’s going on in your local community?
During total Lockdown, there was very much a spirit of neighbours helping each other out, although from where I look, that seems to have pretty well faded away. I have some evidence that petty local politics and bureaucracy is getting in the way - I have tried to support the local “Village Link” initiative (driving people without transport or who have to shelter to medical appointments, helping with shopping, etc) although I am told that the Health and Safety restrictions imposed by the local councils are making it more or less impossible for them to operate, sadly. I’ve not tried to intervene directly (yet) in this nonsense.
It’s sad (albeit unsurprising) to hear that the neighbourly spirit has faded away. The cause you suggest makes sense too, just looking internally at my own motivations – bureaucracy, politics and restrictions are pretty effective ways to obstruct or dissipate my energy.
How about behavioural signals in less regulated areas? Are you seeing any trend towards localisation in supply of goods, e.g. food?
One of the quieter trends I’ve observed with interest here has been a ‘run’ on live chickens, seeds and gardening supplies.
There is certainly a shortage of seeds for home grown vegetables. It will be interesting to see if this burst of enthusiasm prevails or dissipates post lockdown. People are talking a lot more about locally sourced food, although I have no evidence about how much traction if is really getting. Personally, and I feel that some others are, I am thinking a lot about my diet, and definitely shifting in a Paleo direction with the intent of strengthening my immune system. I’m talking to Cat N about this as she sees a timely opportunity to develop some offerings here.
I’m guessing at least some of the enthusiasm will persist, even if only to save money in what is going to be a nasty recession / depression.
I’ve been thinking about diet and in the same direction as well. Not that I haven’t thought about it before (and generally been pretty inconsistent about continuing the action step for more than a few weeks at a time). It just seems even more important now.
Great to hear you’re talking to Cat about this. She’s right on it!!