The Co-Caring Initiative gathers a passionate community of people who are "co-caring" during this long disaster we find ourselves in. Mutual support and finding our individual "sparks" of vitality, like our personal talents and networks, can help us heal from health, social, economic, political and environmental crises that have accelerated the past several years.
Why are we building this community? Because: Everyone needs someone to have their back.
I learned how hard it was to get good support after a major cycling accident, despite my area's incredible number of research hospitals. Thank goodness for friends and family. Friends came from other boroughs and other states to help, people from childhood and college, and brand new friends, who I never knew would be there for me. They found ways to me get groceries, hugged me when I was sad, and organized things when my brain couldn't handle it. So I wouldn't forget, I wrote this checklist for helping those who get sick:
Arrange meal partners; buy groceries.
Have someone arrange and help w/follow up doctor appts.
Expect recovery to take twice as long.
It was great to see neighbors are gathering to pick up the slack for their community during early COVID, with caring people and organizations campaigning for providers' supplies. What if these efforts can continue and be multiplied as we witness more global changes?
Remembering my own struggles as a patient, wondering if I would ever walk normally again, I was highly motivated to make things work better. Our supporters, advisors and I looked at how to give and get better "last-mile" critical care support during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, California's Sonoma and Camp Fires, and COVID-19 in 2020-2021.
We are witnessing people coming to grips with their mortality. And we are also finding surprising inner strength and resilience. Everyone needs someone to have their back. With our community, you can connect and partner in our ecosystem to get through this critical period of time. We will be successful, because in the end everyone is both a caregiver and care receiver.