The Neighborhood Challenge encourages people to help out elderly and vulnerable neighbors during the COVID-19 by carrying out small services for them if they are unable to the leave their apartments.
Problems and Purpose
During the COVID-19 pandemic, certain groups of people who are more vulnerable to severe illness have been advised to confine themselves completely to their dwellings. This also goes for those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those who have been in contact with them. This presents a particular challenge for elderly people and those suffering with underlying health conditions, who be already be socially isolated and lonely .
One response to this has been the 'Nachbarschaftschallenge' which appeared as a hashtag on Twitter in Austria in mid-March 2020. The aim of the challenge is for people to leave notices in their apartment building hallways or windows offering to carry out essential services for vulnerable and isolated people.
Background History and Context
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Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
The challenge has been promoted through social media and word of mouth, with a hashtag on Twitter (in German).
Participant Recruitment and Selection
Participants consist of communities within the same apartment building. Participation is open to everyone, although the help is targeted at those who are forced to self-isolate.
Methods and Tools Used
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What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
For the neighborhood challenge, people have been putting up a sign in the communal hallways of apartments. The sign invites people who are in at-risk groups for severe COVID-19 such as older people and those with chronic or existing health problems (including pregnant women) to call on a named neighbor if they need anything like shopping, medicines or anything else. Those in need can call the named person or put a note in their letter box.
In other countries, the Next Door app has been used to connect people in a similar way, where users can mark themselves on the app as available to help out a neighbor .
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
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Analysis and Lessons Learned
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