Having spent weeks setting up a community volunteer network I didn’t think I might be one of the first to use it. But, our daughter got a headache and temperature on Sunday morning so now its home school, sick child and self-isolation for fourteen days of comfortable – if fractious and nervous- confinement.
That won’t be the case for many other people without money, food or social capital. The people I see down the soup kitchen, or who rely on the local food bank, who for a multitude of reasons are struggling in normal times will rapidly find the situation much bleaker than mine. Some will literally be on the streets as it has upset their mental health to the point they can no longer cope. Many of them will be going to their council for support, now or very soon.
Its undeniable part of this will be about resources and technology. I have heard many clients saying how utterly relieved they are that they had rolled out home working before covid hit or at least had enough to allow them to work now. However, it’s also obvious that the tools alone won’t fix this and there is a need for intelligence and insight.
Having a litre of milk arrive on the doorstep 20 min after a whatsapp request yesterday certainly make me feel better. There are no online delivery slots in my area. Having two bags of shopping arrive this lunchtime courtesy of a neighbour made me really realise how much this will be about ‘localism’ and local grassroots networks.
Yes we will be using tech, but it’s not really about the tech. It’s about people, relationships and solving problems. If local government can tap into this massive bank of social capital the road ahead will be much easier to navigate. Now is also the time to act. The sun is shining and it feels very odd. That reminds me of the phone footage of the Boxing Day Tsunami. When the sea disappeared many tourists wandered down the beach to look at the funny fish; they should have considered why and what was coming next and headed for the high ground.
You can get in touch with me to discuss via RedQuadrant at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on twitter @geraldpower happy to chat and share