The "caremongering" movement in Canada
To help those who are vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians have started "caremongering," an online movement to help those at risk in their communities.
Canadians combating coronavirus with care
The power of a hashtag
The major players among social media platforms can do far more than allow us to obsess over what all of our friends think of us or what our idols are doing. During these most trying times, they can facilitate collective action and form a knowledge base for all users when needed most. This is precisely what an ever-increasing force of passionate and caring Canadians have demonstrated, spurred by Mita Hans and her viral hashtag. ‘Caremongering’ as it has been coined is an obvious modification of the term ‘Scaremongering’ and a new vector by which Canadian citizens are doing their part to make life easier during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m not scaremongering, I have no intention of spreading fear. What I want to do instead is coming from a place of caring,” adds Mita.
Spreading information and aid instead of a virus
Every community impacted by COVID-19 has its share of more vulnerable groups in need of assistance with daily tasks, and the members of this caremongering movement have taken to Twitter to provide that help. The groups organize online in individual neighborhoods, towns, and cities, in order to tailor to a community’s specific needs. Members share information, ideas, tips, and even offer emotional support beyond the direct delivery of items to those in need. Everything shared can fall under three categories with accompanying recommended hastags. #discussion would apply to the information, ideas, tips, or emotional support. #iso stands for ‘in search of’ which allows those in need to specify necessities they are looking for. Finally #resources allows users to announce anything they have which other may need.
“No one person is burdened by doing too much at any given time. It’s very much a team effort and it’s non-hierarchical”, says Mita. What began as a couple dozen concerned people exploded in to over 15,000 active and engaged twitter users in just two days time. Mita would, of course, love to see this degree of selflessness and caregiving extend beyond this pandemic, but understands the gravity and the acute need here and now: Social distancing measures are strongly encouraged as Canada closed its parliament and order all non-essential business in Ontario and Quebec to close for the time being.