Anyone who pays attention to mainstream media, especially these days, has experienced “scaremongering”—but what about “caremongering”? Even as I write this article my spelling software suggests that I change caremongering into scaremongering—because there has never been such a word.
Well that’s no longer the case, since Toronto residents Mita Hans and Valentina Harper set up the first of what now totals 35 Facebook “Caremongering” groups to help out people in Canada during the coronavirus epidemic in Halifax, Ottawa, Ontario, and Annapolis County, Nova Scotia.
People are joining the groups to either ask for help or offer help—particularly to people most susceptible to or most at-risk of the more serious symptoms of COVID-19.
Between the 30,000 caremongers of the 35 groups, a “Candemic” attitude has served to reinforce the image of the Canadian kindness.
“Scaremongering is a big problem,” Harper tells the BBC. “We wanted to switch that around and get people to connect on a positive level, to connect with each other.
“It’s spread the opposite of panic in people, brought out community and camaraderie, and allowed us to tackle the needs of those who are at-risk all the time—now more than ever.”
On the Toronto Caremongering Facebook group, 10,000 members regularly write either one of three typical posts: #ISO which stands for “in search of,” #OFFER posts, where people offer goods or services to people trapped in self-isolation, and #SHOPS which gives info about shops that are open or stocked.
However, there are also discussion posts like introductory video that Harper posted earlier this week about how learning the Cree language can be something that people can do while self-isolating.
“I think there is an international belief that Canadians are so nice,” she said. “And I think there is something Canadian about this because as our population is small as a country, there is a tendency to look out for each other, even if there are a few bad apples who buy all the toilet paper!”
This is just one of many positive stories and updates that GNN is churning out with their COVID-19 news coverage this week. Click here to see more uplifting coverage.
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