Community Initiatives

How are citizens, patients and communities mobilizing to be part of the solution?

 

Community initiatives in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. A compilation by the Canada Research Chair in Patient and Public Partnership

Last updated: June 3, 2020

Table of contents

Combating social isolation

Expressing gratitude

Mutual encouragement and nurturing hope

Role models and influencers

Mutual aid and support groups

Material support

Activities, recreation and educational services

Citizen science and social innovation

 

Are you aware of community initiatives mobilizing patients and citizens to respond to the pandemic? Please contact: Katia Dumont: katia.dumont@chairepartenariat.ca

Special thanks to Anitra Bostock, Project Manager in Community Development at the Montreal Palliative Care Institute, Branch of West Island Palliative Care Residence, who came up with the idea of a list of community initiatives in the context of COVID-19 and contributed extensively to compiling inspiring examples for the Compassionate Communities project.

*Please note that many of the links are currently in French, but many images convey the essence of the message

Combating social isolation

  • A Rainbow with multicoloured hearts designed and glued onto a window by seniors.
  • Over 70 years of age, the residents of the Alizéa residence in La Prairie have been confined to their apartment for several days. Their lifeline to get some fresh air and take their mind off things? Zumba on their balcony every afternoon!
  • Seniors at the Résidences du Carrefour went out on their balcony for an activity organized by their animation team. Dance and music were on the program to break the residents’ isolation.
  • A man decided to install speakers and a sound system to entertain tenants who must remain confined during these times of coronavirus. Hundreds of people were outside, remaining dutifully on their balconies, to enjoy the show. 
  • People wish a 95 year old person a happy birthday on the street with a song and crafts.
  • Playing bingo in the hallway of a nursing home while keeping physically distanced seems like a good idea!
  • Laval firefighters parade through the streets, playing music… and their siren!
  • In Spain, a local police woman sings in the streets. 
  • Confined to their homes, the Italians sing, play music and dance on their balconies. 
  • Residents of the Bay View neighbourhood organized a dinosaur parade with social distance to give people a fun break while they are locked inside because of the coronavirus.
  • BAnQ offers seniors the opportunity to receive a 15-minute call that will bring them a moment of happiness and human warmth at a time when connections are rare. Each senior interested in the project will be paired with a member of the Grande Bibliothèque’s staff who will read selected extracts of works over the phone.
  • A Quebec Man Led A Socially-Distanced Zumba Class For His Neighbours.

Expressing gratitude

Mutual encouragement and nurturing hope

  • Since March 18, 2020, more and more Quebecers are displaying rainbow drawings and paintings in the windows of their homes. Often accompanied by the hashtag #çavabienaller (everything will be alright) these illustrations are intended to support one another as neighbours in this period of imposed isolation.
  • To combat boredom in places where containment measures are not yet fully imposed, an idea to keep children occupied while walking with their families has gone viral. Teddy bears or rainbows (drawn by children) are displayed in the windows of homes in communities around the world.
  • While cases of COVID-19 continue to be confirmed across the country, some Canadians have gone to great lengths to share positivism and demonstrate solidarity in their respective communities.
  • 7 Quebec buildings are illuminated in rainbow colors as a sign of solidarity.
  • As the COVID-19 outbreak wreaked havoc in the eastern United States, pilots wrote messages in the California sky.
  • One of Ontario’s largest tourist destinations found a way to shed light on a dark time, despite many of its attractions being closed. Niagara Falls glowing heart signs are being displayed from hotels and casinos to send hope across the city.

Role models and influencers

Mutual aid and support groups

Material support

Activities, Recreation and Education Services

Citizens, science, and social innovation

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