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Communities and the Pandemia

               12th April 2020

               How are people in (other) communities doing in times of contact prohibitions and distance
               rules? As a resident of Sieben Linden Ecovillage, I asked myself this question and assumed
               that our readers are interested in it as well. So I wrote to all the communities that present
               themselves in the current edition of the eurotopia Directory and asked about it – and was
               overwhelmed by the reactions. Reports kept (keep!) coming and it has been a real
               challenge to wrap it up for a newsletter and finally mail it out because I felt that I have to
               add reports because every one brings new insights. I did not even include every report. It’s
               a lot of text to read (under this article) but I’ll try to summarize it a bit below.

               Although similar regulations apply to people in communities all over the world,
               communtiy “households” sometimes include dozens of people, and our contacts to “the
               outside world” can often be regulated so well that a community can almost be quarantined
               without having to change its everyday life too much. In many communities, children are
               looked after together at times when schools are closed – they live together in a dense space
               anyway, often as if in a common quarantine. And if isolation outside school hours is not
               possible, it would also be pointless for home schooling.

               Often the official guidelines are implemented to a large extent, but cooking continues for
               everyone and sometimes meetings or sports activities continue to take place within the
               community – sometimes at a distance. One German community wrote quite openly in their
               last newsletter that they “move closer together instead of keeping their distance” – so far
               there have been no legal consequences to admit this openly, even though it might be
               against German regulations (it’s not clear if government authorities would accept
               communities as a household or as several households; in the latter case they would be
               obliged to keep a distance. Obviously, nobody wants to ask…)

               One answer to my mail to the communities was: “…I am sure that you too will continue to
               take each other in your arms in Sieben Linden, … maybe a little less often, but not less
               warmly because of that…”
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