Community responses to covid-19

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Revision as of 11:53, 27 March 2020 by Duncan Crowley (talk | contribs)


The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus. The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. The outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China, in December 2019, and was recognized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020.[1] Since February 2020 the problem worsened in Europe and in March, European cities, regions and countries began to declare states of emergency and go into lockdown. Especially hit was firstly Italy[2], where its death toll was likened to a war,[3] then Spain, [4] where 514 people died on a single day from the virus.[5]

Daily statistics of confirmed Cases and Deaths by Country, Territory, or Conveyance are available on Worldometer.[6] As the situation worsens, more communities are beginning to beginning to self organise, support each other, understand what can be done to alleviate the impact of the virus, thereby "flattening the curve"[7], so as emergency services are not pushed beyond their capacity and can best respond to those that need assistance. Arising from this new reality, UrbanA partners began to identify helpful resources to assist themselves and their wider Community of practice. Many solutions were identified in responses to George Monbiot[8]'s tweet[9] from March 26th:

Advice please.
I'm looking for the best examples of citizens' initiatives on the Covid19 crisis, pre-empting government action, from around the world. 
In other words, people working together to contain the  pandemic and support each other through it.  
Thank you in advance.

Many of the solutions are crowdsourced and rely on citizen participation to quickly grow. Without any prior experience, people can assist at whatever level they feel is appropriate. The Coronavirus Tech Handbook group are seeking translators.[10]

Community responses to COVID-19


  • Coronavirus Tech Handbook[11]. a group of technologists and now 80 volunteer librarians curating and creating a collaboration tool focused on resources and tools. Now in 8 languages. Sections for Doctors / Nurses / Justice/ Isolation / when a new demand is identified a new section made. (Via Dan Wahl's tweet[12])
If you want to help but but don't know what to do, read through the handbook for ideas.
If you are doing or making something already, put it in the handbook to reduce duplication.
The Coronavirus Tech Handbook provides a library for technologists, civic organizations, public and private institutions, researchers, educators and specialists of all kinds to collaborate on an agile and sophisticated response to the coronavirus outbreak and sequential impacts. It is a rapidly evolving resource with thousands of active expert contributors.
  • #AloneTogether Handbook: Regenerative Resources in a Time of Coronavirus[13] (XR / Extinction Rebellion UK)[14].
Now is the time to take care of ourselves. We don’t know how long coronavirus is going to be with us, and we all need to prepare ourselves for this uncertainty and adapt. 
As Extinction Rebellion has been evolving we’ve been developing resources and tools to help navigate the climate and ecological emergency which are of deep relevance as we face this planetary health crisis.
This handbook has been created to offer support in building resilience to the crises, staying connected with each other, and empower you in offering support to others. Over time, the initiatives listed here will develop, and as capacity grows, working with others we plan to roll them out ever-wider.
In this moment Regenerative Cultures around the world are connecting, creating resilience, collaboration, health and solidarity. Now, more than ever, we need those things. Each of us has a vital role in creating a regenerative response to coronavirus. 
  • Resources for civil society in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic[15]. From CIVICUS, a global alliance of civil society organisations and activists dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society throughout the world.
Defending civil society, democratic rights, and our fundamental freedoms can be challenging, let alone having to do it while under “lockdown” practicing social distancing in the midst of a global health crisis spreading rapidly across the world. In times like these, solidarity and social compassion play the most important role. To help connect and inform the alliance and civil society during this time, we will be collecting information, resources, and support to share.

Blogs and other analysis


Online events

For kids and family

Tek solutions

Community solutions

Helpful links to follow


  1. WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 – 11 March 2020". World Health Organization. 11 March 2020.
  2. What towns in Italy are on lockdown because of coronavirus? Metro, 25 February 2020.
  3. 'This is like a war': view from Italy's coronavirus frontline. The Guardian, 17 Mar 2020.
  4. Coronavirus: Spain declares state of emergency. Irish Times. March 14, 2020.
  5. Coronavirus death toll in Spain overtakes China. The Guardian, 25 Mar 2020.
  6. Worldometer: Confirmed Cases and Deaths by Country, Territory, or Conveyance of the Coronavirus
  7. Covid-19 outbreak: what do health experts mean by 'flattening the curve'? The Guardian. 10 Mar 2020.
  8. Monbiot, George. Covid-19 is nature's wake-up call to complacent civilisation. Wed 25 Mar 2020
  9. George Monbiot: I'm looking for the best examples of citizens' initiatives on the Covid19 crisis
  10. Coronavirus Tech Handbook - translation
  11. Coronavirus Tech Handbook
  12. Daniel Christian Wahl on Twitter
  13. Extinction Rebellion UK (XR). #AloneTogether Handbook: Regenerative Resources in a Time of Coronavirus. Accesssed March 26 2020
  14. Extinction Rebellion UK
  15. Resources for civil society in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. CIVICUS