The mission of Dos Rios Neighbors is to help each other improve our individual lives and the common good of our neighborhood. Covid-19 has disrupted business as usual. And as we shelter in place, it has provided us with an opportunity to imagine possibilities for the future.
Why we are doing this, and what kind of future do we want?
Do we want to go back to the business as usual which led us to the health and economic crises we find ourselves in? Or do we want to imagine and work toward more just and sustainable ways of doing things?
Here are a few ideas from an article: Reimagining a Post COVID World: Key Principles for the Future
First, we need to rethink how our economies are structured.
Too many people are adrift due to the failures of big governments and the private sector to prepare for Covid-19, which they knew was coming. Solidarity and mutual help will be key to getting through the resulting crisis. We need to create fairer societies. Buying food locally and distributing it to individuals and families in need is a good first step. But we need to continuously listen to one another to determine what the real needs are as we change.
Second, the needs of the most excluded must be put front and center.
The elderly and others with compromised immune systems are extremely vulnerable. We need to take a human rights approach to reach the most disadvantaged first. Keeping this in mind, we prioritize the most needy with our food packages. Also we need to honor and adequately compensate front line workers.
Third, the spotlight needs to be on climate justice and safeguarding biodiversity.
Lockdowns have significantly lowered pollution levels, and have made our environmental degradation visible. We need to continue to live more in harmony with nature. Reducing, reusing, and recycling our food packaging is one small, but important part of this.
Fourth, international cooperation is crucial.
The pandemic has laid bare the artificial nature of our borders and accentuated the need for cooperation – rather than competition. On the other hand, some people have taken Covid-19 as an opportunity to further divide us. We need to join together not only as neighbors, but as cities, states and nations to fully prepare for future such emergencies. We seek to cooperate with other neighborhood groups to strengthen our efforts.
Fifth, civic freedoms and unfettered civil societies are needed now more than ever.
Law enforcement agencies have been given enhanced coercive powers, which although temporary in nature might linger. Emergency measures should be withdrawn as soon as normalcy returns. As a neighborhood organization, we seek to preserve our civil liberties as well as honor our responsibilities.
Finally, (adding this to the article’s list) we need to look inward to our deepest human longings.
We occasionally hit a wall of isolation and depression. We need to take such as opportunities to look inward to our deepest longings for the kind of persons we want to be and the kind of world we want, and work to make these real in our relationships with one another, and the world we lie in.