As we move past the initial phases of lockdown, it’s easy to forget that people are still feeling the effects of COVID-19 at home. According to the HSE’s National Health Guidelines, people who are at very high risk from coronavirus should cocoon.
Cocooners are being advised to stay at home and avoid physical contact with people where they can, and we know that it can be an incredibly lonely time for people.
Keeping up regular friendly check-ins with cocooners can make a world of difference and help to strengthen their community connection.
Remember: you must keep a 2 metre distance when meeting a cocooner, and the person cocooning must be wearing a face covering.
If you’re meeting indoors, disinfect surfaces beforehand. These are simple ways to make sure you’re being safe!
A small group of volunteers
Identify cocooners in your area
Use your neighbourhood WhatsApp or Facebook group to ask if any neighbours are cocooning, or if anyone knows of people in the area who are cocooning.
Pass flyers around houses in areas where you’re not sure if people are cocooning or not with information and phone numbers they can get in touch with to keep up with the community, and to call if they need anything.
Keep in touch
Make sure to check in with cocooners regularly. Not everyone will have easy access to the internet or be able to connect with people online, so actually making the effort to go and check in with someone for a socially distanced chat can make a huge difference to their day!
If there are a lot of people cocooning in your area, scheduling visits from different neighbours is a way to make sure that nobody goes too long without seeing someone.
Provide helpful resources
Keeping occupied and handling loneliness are some of the hardest parts of cocooning. Thankfully, there are tons of brilliant resources and guidebooks online!
Here is a selection of helpful resources for people who are cocooning, that you can send or print off and drop into your neighbours with:
Keep cocooners informed
As restrictions are lifted, cocooners will be able to participate more in their communities. Keep them in the loop about any events or activities locally by dropping them in a schedule of upcoming plans.
Encourage cocooners to get involved in the likes of skill sharing classes, tea meet-ups and bake-offs, and make sure that the events will be safe for them.