Caremongering is the latest movement to hit as a way to help people feeling panicked amid a coronavirus outbreak. Picture/Facebook
Caremongering is the latest movement to hit as a way to help people feeling panicked amid a coronavirus outbreak. Picture/Facebook

‘Caremongering’: The latest word created by coronavirus

Under guidance from governments and health organisations across the world, whole communities - and even countries - are hunkering down to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

For many, that means stocking up on food, toiletries and other necessary supplies. But for others, who might be elderly or physically unable to do so, such necessities may be harder to come by.

That's where "caremongering" comes in.

The term - coined by Canadians on social media, but not a concept exclusive to Canada - describes the practice of offering help or care to those that need it most.

And it isn't just limited to delivering supplies or food; caremongering can mean running errands, or setting up online exercise classes, or cooking and doing chores for others.

In fact, caremongering - whether it's called that or not - has already taken off on many social media platforms, with neighbours or community members offering to be of service in any way they can.

One woman, Becky Wass, even made headlines a few days back with a #viralkindness card she distributed among her elderly neighbours.

Her widely-shared post was captioned with the message: I've been feeling pretty helpless watching the news. Maybe you have too?

"I wanted to do something about it, so I've made a postcard that I'll be posting to my older neighbours as this progresses (after washing my hands!).

"If just one person feels less lonely or isolated when faced with this pandemic, then I'll feel better about it (I hope!)

"Coronavirus is scary. Let's make kindness go viral."

A Canadian woman named Becky Vass made headlines recently for making this card to distribute to her elderly neighbours. Picture: Facebook
A Canadian woman named Becky Vass made headlines recently for making this card to distribute to her elderly neighbours. Picture: Facebook

 

Valentina Harper, a Toronto resident who was one of the first people to set up a "caremongering" Facebook group (along with friend Mita Hans), explained her reasoning to the BBC.

"Scaremongering is a big problem," Harper told 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."

Harper's group, and many others, use a similar system for sharing information, requests and offers, with users tagging posts with #iso (people "in search of" something) and #offer (those putting out offers to help).

Other posts are tagged with #news, #discussion, #need or #suggestion, depending on the nature of the posting.

Many other "caremongering" groups across Canada appeared to work the same way, with supporters offering everything from free coffee to books.

Australians are also stepping up in the kindness stakes with one Facebook group dedicated to help people who are struggling with the coronavirus outbreak now boasting 30,000 members.

Caremongering new trend. Picture: Facebook
Caremongering new trend. Picture: Facebook

The group encourages sharing that focus on the positive in any capacity, including small, random acts of kindness, and in this case gratitude.

One member recently shared a photo of a note left in a supermarket in Toowoomba, Queensland, thanking staff for their incredible efforts.

The anonymously posted note read: "Thank-you for keeping the shelves stocked and coming to work daily, while the world goes insanely crazy with panic buying.

"We appreciate you!!! #thekindnesspandemic."

Recently a touching act of selflessness by two young girls made headlines after it was revealed the pair had used their own money to buy toilet paper for the elderly in their street.

Best friends Addyson, 6, and Lucy, 4, (pictured left and right) pooled pocket money to buy toilet paper to give out to elderly neighbours. Picture: Facebook/Petrina McGuireSource: Facebook
Best friends Addyson, 6, and Lucy, 4, (pictured left and right) pooled pocket money to buy toilet paper to give out to elderly neighbours. Picture: Facebook/Petrina McGuireSource: Facebook

 

The friends, Addyson and Lucy, aged six and four came up with the idea to help older neighbours after visiting a supermarket and seeing the shelves stripped bare.

After pooling their savings from the "tooth fairy" the enterprising duo stepped out to deliver their cargo of loo roll and tissues to those who needed it most.

"The pensioners loved having them knock on the door and ask if they would like some as the shops run out - some people needed some and were very grateful," said Addyson's mum, Ms McGuire.

Since sharing the touching snap online, the post has gathered 1900 likes, 365 comments and been shared a staggering 5600 times.

Commenters moved by the pair's generosity have said their "thoughtfulness" is a rare thing in this "day and age".

 

A portion of this article originally appeared on Fox News and was reproduced with permission

Originally published as 'Caremongering': The latest word created by coronavirus


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