Two Doors Down When good neighbors go online.

Two Doors Down When good neighbors go online.

Issue 40

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Arts & Culture

  • Words Rima Sabina Aouf
  • Artwork George Underwood, <i>Night</i>

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, one positive sentiment gained traction: that despite the harsh new realities of physical distancing, we were “closer” to each other than we’d ever been before. This optimistic paradox emerged from the observation that neighbors were rallying together—whether singing from balconies, or connecting through online networks of support and mutual aid. 

Hyperlocal online groups didn’t start with the coronavirus, but they certainly rose to new heights with it. Usage of Nextdoor, a global social network for local communities, jumped in March 2020, and informal networks sprang up through Whatsapp and Facebook. Members used them to check in on the lonely and vulnerable, organize shopping and medicine pick-ups and exchange goods. 

It was to be...

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