Just a few days ago the word “caremongering” did not exist and now it is being used on social media, the news and in day to day conversations.  There are now  35 Facebook groups set up to serve communities in places including Ottawa, Halifax and Annapolis County in Nova Scotia, with more than 30,000 members between them. People are joining the groups to offer help to others within their communities, particularly those who are more at risk of health complications related to coronavirus.

We have seen  acts of kindness around the world, such as delivering soup to the elderly in the UK to an exercise class held for quarantined residents on their balconies in Spain. But in Canada, it has become an organised movement and it is called “Caremongering”.  The first “Caremongering” group was set up by Mita Hans with the help of Valentina Harper and others  It is being driven by social media and the caremongering is arranged online.

‘Caremongering’ to Combat ‘Scaremongering’

The organizers explained that “Scaremongering is a huge problem and they wanted to switch that around to get people to connect on a positive level during this crisis.”  “It’s spread the opposite of panic in people, brought out community and camaraderie and allowed us to tackle the needs of those who are at-risk all the time – now more than ever.” Valentina said the rapid growth of the trend was far beyond her expectations, with the Toronto group itself now having more than 9,000 members.

Posts are usually divided between two main topics – #iso and #offer. #iso posts are for people “in search of” help, whereas #offer posts are (as the name implies) for people offering help. There are other topics for things like discussions, news articles and which shops are open, but these two tags make up the bulk of the posts in the groups.

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