• David Brady

Maintaining social cohesion can be a challenge in this Covid-19 environment

The interesting thing about this new virus is our way of combating it. In our need to keep the virus from spreading we must maintain physical distance from one another, forcing most to maintain contact with only those living with them. In most cases that will be families or loved ones who by nature tend to see the world through the same lens. This can propose a challenge when trying to maintain social cohesion with the larger groups we are part of. Those larger groups being the ones that perpetuate the transfer of new ideas and help to stitch together all of the nuclear families or (smaller groups). Think of your religious community or meetings that you are no longer able to attend in person, while you still may be able to view a religious ceremony or get together online, it can fall short of the sense of community and personal transference of ideas among the group members itself. A further example would be the personal interaction that takes place among members of groups after or sometimes during larger group events. This isolation we are experiencing can have a distancing effect on the smaller nuclear groups from the larger societal groups. Those larger groups being the fabric that stitches together a fully functioning community. As we all may know when we are part of a larger group we are doing so with buy-in that you serve the group and the group serves you. That is how functioning societies work. We do our part as individuals following the cultural norms and rules while expecting others to do the same. There is a sense of personal and group inspection along with a review that keeps us on track with those cultural norms. That is to say when we act in front of the group we act as the group acts. So how can we maintain that group dynamic when we have been siloed in our homes with very little peer review of thoughts and ideas.

So how can we maintain that group dynamic when we have been siloed in our homes with very little peer review of thoughts and ideas

In one way we are lucky to be the recipients of Internet connectivity. We have an opportunity to leverage this power so that we can communicate in those small groups. Take zoom for example or any of the other virtual office technology that you could use to connect your small groups together. As an example, if you’re a member of a running group meeting physically is out of acceptance by cultural norms at this time, but you could meet together online and still share your thoughts and ideas via this tool. While the physical camaraderie may not be present the intellectual transfer of ideas and the maintenance of the group's connectedness helps to maintain its integrity and the transference of those ideas. Communication being the central point of this exercise can be maintained if all parties have an opportunity to share their ideas with the group. This sharing allows group members to vet their ideas and see if they hold water so to speak. I think we can all agree that some ideas we hold are not always met with wide acceptance by the group while others will be accepted and adopted. I can not stress enough the importance of maintaining communication with our peers especially when we are experiencing conditions like we are at this time. Peer review of ideas can help us avoid misinformation that can have a fracturing effect on our smaller societal groups or larger groups in general.