Community engagement – the aftermath of the pandemic

COVID pandemic has impacted everyone – from children to the elderly- and most importantly, it had an immense influence on our social relationships. While some people are nostalgically looking back, some others are simply seeing the benefits the pandemic has brought.

There are, of course, both sides to be attended to, and the truth is that society probably has not changed that much but got used to convenience in their daily lives. However, people miss social contacts and engagement with their peers or groups of interest more than ever. So what is the reality of community engagement now?

Need of dialogue

Getting further from each other did not do any good for our trust in one another, especially in the governing bodies. Long hiding behind the screens turned reality upside down and helped various conspiracy theories to thrive. Governments have to help people engage back in direct dialogue in order to have a more proactive society and re-establish trust.

Online communities and hybrid activities

Doing shopping online, home deliveries, hybrid and homeworking… There was a significant push in the e-services all around Europe, which saves us time, money and energy. No wonder the younger generation does not want to return to the pre-covid times. This generates a new need to adapt community-building activities. Why not have that introductory meeting to the language class online? Abroad? Join in from your smartphone! Sometimes physical presence is impossible, but that should not prevent you from interacting with people.

Reconnecting

Having spent more time at home means people got to know their close environment better, got more curious about it, and learned to appreciate their surroundings. More local initiatives started and more people got engaged into the existing ones. This means now is the perfect timing to start new projects and develop new ideas!

Overall, COVID did bring some positive changes to our society, though it needs a rapid adaptation in community engagement to keep moving in the right direction.



This article has been written for the UCome project.

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