Offline social life – The importance of community and public spaces – what have we learned during the corona virus?

The lockdowns all around the world make us realise the importance of community and public life and spaces. Without coming together, our life is way more difficult. We are all closed into our homes and super narrow social bubbles. Even if we can have online “social life”, we cannot meet and have offline exchange with our families and friends. This makes many people devastated and sick. Social anxiety, depression, … It is hard to handle for all of us. Kids, elderly people, families, youngsters, … all suffer. More and more online “social programs and places” are offered by new initiatives, but we all see, that they are not as “good” as the old school offline social exchange.

I think this corona virus time offers us the opportunity to think more about our socio-cultural spaces and programs. What kind of spaces and activities do we use to come together, to have intercultural exchange and how affordable they are. Many of us (the middle and upper part of the society) have to opportunity to meet with friends in cafés, bars and restaurants during the non-corona situations, but what about people with very low income? How can we meet them? How can they have socio-cultural life? What is affordable for the whole society? In Switzerland there are some “GZ – Gemeinschaftszentren / community centres” run by the municipality and there are some specific associations. Do we have enough activities and spaces to bring people together? Is that important at all? I do believe, that bringing different people together will generate a more tolerant and inclusive society where everyone can find its happiness and well-being. This would also generate a more democratic structure, because every segment of the society could be heard and we would all have our voices. This is crucial to have a healthy society based on equality and / or equity.

1-2 further notes without more details:

1. Food banks and canteens are crucial for low-income families and households

2. There is nowhere to go… – the rise domestic violence during the lockdowns – https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/mar/28/lockdowns-world-rise-domestic-violence?CMP=fb_gu&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR3qicrh5Eo56yEWO1MEDQqrm1IM_frB7DHQleiizqM2Fyle5GWwS-YeSa4#Echobox=1585386611

Zürich

Bence Komlósi

28.03.2020

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