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What are BSC members doing during the COVID crisis?


by Kathy Keleher

As with everyone, collective uncertainty among Bay State Commons’ members continues about the duration of our current isolation and the specific qualities of a post-COVID society. 

Several of our members have been sewing face masks and giving them out in our local communities (see above photo for some of their handiwork). Below are Margaret, Randall, and John wearing theirs.

Margaret, Randall, and John

One of our associate members, a nurse who has been working with COVID patients, describes what it’s like to be on the front lines:

“Community is important, even during a pandemic that requires physical isolation. I’m a nurse practitioner working in a COVID ICU, and at the start of the pandemic I decided to move out of my apartment to avoid exposing the rest of my household. It’s been a weird, hard, and lonely time, but being part of a cohousing community, even one I don’t live with, has been a comfort. I see my coho friends on video calls and virtual game nights. They’ve offered support both emotional and material; sewing masks and mask-supporting headbands, making grocery runs, sharing silly videos and cute photos of their pets. At a time when it’s been hard for me to focus on any future beyond the next patient and the next shift, my coho friends remind me of the home we’re building together.’”

We also have been taking advantage of opportunities to show our appreciation for the people who provide essential services to us. Christine put several signs such as this up in her North End building.

Christine sign 1


There may be a tendency to dismiss cohousing as unrealistic in the age of social distancing. It’s true that some of the benefits of cohousing aren’t available in a global pandemic—no group meals, no impromptu jam sessions in the music room. But the psychological benefits of being part of a community persist even when you can’t see your friends in person.

You can read about the health risks of loneliness in this recent article.

Please stay safe, everyone.

Spread the word—

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