By Tammy Schneider
A social media group on Facebook, #KincardineStrong, is bringing people together at a time when physical distancing and self-isolation caused by COVID-19 is keeping them apart.
The page was created on March 20 by administrator Meagan Fair, who is employed as a catalyst innovator at NPX in Kincardine, as well as serving as a volunteer with the Kincardine Lions, president of the KTTPS home and school association and board member at Huron Shores Hospice. Her page boasts more than 2,500 followers and grows daily. Posts include a variety of information and encouraging words. Followers can find lists of activities, instructions on how to make masks and information on local business.
Fair acknowledges her own stress levels seemed to rise by the constant stream of negative news and she wanted to create a place where residents could help each other, stay connected and stay positive.
“I started the Facebook group “Kincardine Strong” as a platform to support those in our community while practicing social distancing by sharing resources, offering support and keeping us all connected” said Fair. “I was personally feeling overwhelmed and anxious by the overload of information as the community (and world) around us was changing so rapidly.”
Beyond just social connection, the page has also become a central spot for information-sharing for local businesses. Small businesses are struggling to keep afloat, and the page provides a no-cost method to promote products and services. In turn, followers are given the opportunity to support local stores and restaurants by utilizing a contactless retail experience.
“Many businesses were trying to adapt to new restrictions by changing the very way that they served and interacted with the community,” said Fair. “Restaurants shifted from dining in to offering take-out and delivery. Retailers started doing porch drops to serve their customers. I never imagined that it would have grown into such a large movement locally, with people decorating the community with #KincardineStrong and tee shirts being made. To date, more than 80 #KincardineStrong tee shirts have been sold by Harbour Rose.”
The page’s future will be in the hands of the followers. When the pandemic is over, supporters may decide to follow other pages, but Fair thinks the positive message of the page may keep them engaged into the future. Even post-Covid-19, there will be restrictions that must be adhered to as life transitions back to normal, whatever that might be. People will still need support and information.
“Everybody feels like they are alone, but the core driver is that we are all in this together.”
By Tammy Schneider