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. This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 45 Yoga with Adriene The internet’s best friend is—finally—finding her own flow. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Alice Sheppard On dance as a channel to commune with the body—even when it hurts. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Dr. Woo Meet the tattoo artist who's inked LA. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Walt Odets The author and clinical psychologist on why self-acceptance is the key to a gay man's well-being. Arts & Culture Fashion Issue 47 A Picture of Health Xiaopeng Yuan photographs the world’s weirdest wellness cures. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Chani Nicholas and Sonya Passi Inside the astrology company on a mission to prove workplace well-being is more than a corporate tagline.