COVID-19: an experiment in peer support
Just what the world needs, another blog about COVID-19, except it’s not!
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
- Wash Your Hands
- Stay Home. Stay Safe
- Follow Official Advice
- Support Local Business
- WASH 👏 YOUR 👏 DAMN 👏 HANDS!
There are, by my very rough calculations, something like 7000 Emergency Managers in the UK. Or at least, there were until earlier this week.
Now I think it’s probably something like 40 million!
Supermarket shelves might be empty, but communities are overflowing with people who want to look out for each other. It’s really quite wonderful to see.
But those 7000 people are still there.
They’re working long days (and nights).
They’re supporting people who routinely respond to challenging situations (and people who have never done this before).
They’re being asked for lots of information and answers (and they are not being told lots of information or having their questions answered).
In addition to that, they are people. If we openly admit it or not, these are worrying times. We’ve got families and homes and lives; thinking about the potential impacts of COVID-19 now, and in the future, makes us anxious too.
All of our employing organisations offer support. Support is available through friends and family. Support is available through professional societies. But I get the sense that something else is required.
This week a community of Emergency Managers on Twitter™ have been sharing of official messages, but we’ve also been reacting on a personal basis too. I’ve seen lots of good humour, and mutual support. I’ve seen (and issued my own) cries for help. That culminated yesterday in a discussion about finding a way to ‘get together’ and chat.
So, as an experiment, a few of us have grasped the last roll of toilet paper by the horns (look, it’s a crisis, leave my mixed metaphors alone) and decided to experiment with having virtual work drinks. Like everyone else, we’re going to use Zoom, as it’s free and seems user friendly. Many of us haven’t used it before so I’m fully expecting a bit of a bumpy ride.
My suggested a format is ‘the best thing that has happened this week and the thing you’re most concerned about’. It’s not about sharing best practise (though that is important), it’s not about bitching (that is important too). It’s about talking through a highly unusual situation with like-minded colleagues, and an ability to decompress after what has been a very long week.
Will it work? That depends on how you measure success. My prediction is that we’ll realise it’s a great idea but needs some work! I’ll report back!
Times like these can be hard. Talk to someone and wash your hands.
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Coronavirus Freestyle 🦠🙅🏾♀️🦠 #QuarantineSpeech #WashYourHands 😂