With children out of school and social distancing suggested for everyone to avoid further spread of the coronavirus, valley residents spend a lot more time at home and in their neighborhoods these days. Even with the gradual reopening of businesses and facilities, you can count on the fact that our new normal won’t look anything like the past for at least a little while.
Here are some tips for how to coexist peacefully with neighbors and how to be a good neighbor yourself during trying times.
Check with your neighborhood management about policies for using gyms/fitness equipment and playground areas if you have them in your community. While there may be some restrictions on use right now, many communities have trails and open grassy areas that offer options for family fun, a great workout or just some much-welcomed individual downtime outside the home. Being active in the sunlight and engaging with neighbors at an appropriate distance can lift the spirits and maintain important community connections.
Use neighborhood social media pages. Apps such as Nextdoor are hubs to communicate with neighbors. With higher use these days, this technology now allow neighbors to arrange small gatherings with social distancing practices implemented. You can set up a Facebook watch party, check out the “Netflix Party” option (netflixparty.com) to have a virtual movie night or even host a virtual party.
Remember: Be courteous and kind.
There are many opinions shared about what should and shouldn’t be done with regards to reopening the economy and other subjects. Social media, and gatherings that result from these communications, shouldn’t be platforms to assert opinions; everyone is in a stressful situation with unique circumstances tied to it.
Stay aware during unusual times.
With more children out of school, and in many cases daycare, family schedules have shifted. Parents need to provide kids with physical activity during the day, so there may be more kids playing outdoors at unusual times. Be hyper aware and exercise extra caution when driving or riding your bike on neighborhood streets to avoid collisions or accidents.
Don’t forget the power of a kind gesture.
Offer to pick up groceries and essentials for elderly neighbors or others unable to get out of the house for some reason. Difficult times bring out a generous spirit in some of us; if that’s your impulse, follow the urge to initiate a small gesture that can put a smile on a neighbor’s face. Look around your neighborhood. Does it look like a property needs help? Mow an overgrown lawn or clean up some lawn debris. The act alone can help you feel better, and that kindness could be contagious, too. You may start a positive chain reaction of good deeds in your neighborhood, ultimately building a better sense of community.
As a reminder, most community management offices are closed to the public during this time. Anyone in need of service should check with their homeowner association contact for alternate arrangements so they can receive services online or by phone.
Joel Just is the CEO and president of Complete Association Management Co. (CAMCO). For more information, visit camconevada.com or search for @CAMCONevada on Facebook.