Though it may be small, the neighborhood of Bay Village is coming together in big ways to help each other. Bay Village Neighborhood Association (BVNA) president Bethany Patten spoke with the Sun about how they are keeping each other informed and entertained during the COVID-19 crisis.
“We’re usually such a super close-knit group, going to each other’s houses for dinner,” Patten said. “We really have moved into lockdown mode. I have a lot of respect for the Mayor and other elected officials to make these decisions every day.”
Patten has been putting out newsletters to those on the BVNA email list with updates from the City, as well as shout-outs to Bay Village residents for something nice they have done. A few residents volunteered with the City’s coronavirus literature drop offs, and a few others had organized community sing-alongs to keep spirits high.
She also said that over the next few weeks, she will be asking people to send her photos of what they are doing in Bay Village “to help them get through.” One neighbor recently held a virtual cocktail hour, and another jump roped outside his home, staying a safe distance from others. There is also a chalk drawing in the Public Garden where people can “Stand Here for a Virtual Hug,” a photo of which can be found on the bayvillageboston Instagram page.
“Everyone has their own way” of dealing with the crisis, and Patten said she is really trying to use social media to encourage people to see this. “We are using social media to boost each other up,” she said.
Bay Village has a very large presence on nextdoor.com, where neighbors are listing businesses who are still open for takeout and/or delivery. Patten also said that she is hoping she can rally some neighbors to call others to see how their doing—“some kind of check-in network,” she said.
City Councilor Ed Flynn has put out a request for volunteers to call seniors in District 2, so Patten said she is also looking for some Bay Village residents to step up for that.
“In a time of social isolation and physical distancing, a phone call may just be the assurance that they need to know that we are always here for them,” Flynn said in a letter to his constituents.
BVNA is also looking to host some of their meetings virtually, where more ideas of how people can help each other could be shared.
For a small community that is used to being in constant contact, social media is a vital tool that is being used for neighbors to safely share what has been going on in their lives. It’s also been a way to connect each other to resources—and maybe a smile or two.