Body Politic started the COVID-19 support group after Founder and EIC Fiona, and Creative Director Sabrina became sick with coronavirus in early March. After falling ill, we quickly realized that there was not enough online content or resources dedicated to people struggling with coronavirus. As we scrolled through Instagram feeds filled with tips on navigating boredom during quarantine, or how not to catch the virus, we felt increasingly isolated, misunderstood, and ignored. With news of infection rates rising, we knew a community of people like ourselves existed and was growing - we just needed a way to reach each other. If you or someone you know is sick, you can sign up to join the group here.
We launched the Body Politic COVID-19 support group on March 26 in a small Instagram group chat. Since then, we’ve had over 20,000 people sign up to join the group, and have migrated platforms to Slack to accommodate the growth and allow for small discussion groups based on community or topic. Our group consists of people from all over the world who have tested positive, are experiencing symptoms, or are recovering from COVID-19. Our discussion groups include channels for people who have been symptomatic for 30+ days, folks dealing with asthma and diabetes, people who have recovered from being on ventilators, and forums to discuss mental health concerns along with many others.
This robust support group is currently being run by a small team of volunteers, who take on all responsibility for onboarding new group members, moderating conversations, and collecting data to share with medical groups. Some of us work full-time jobs in addition to this work, others are struggling to make ends meet after a financial loss due to contracting COVID-19.
Money contributed here will do the following:
-help us cover maintenance costs for the support group platform and other technologies we rely on to keep this group running.
-help compensate our volunteers for their labor.
-help us pay for advertising to reach more people in need and expand this group to more communities.
Want to learn more about the group? We're currently housed on a private workspace in Slack to protect the privacy of group members, but you can read more about our project on our website. If you are interested in contributing to the patient-led research group that formed in our support group and is working to create crucial surveys on lingering symptoms and patient experiences, please visit this page.
Thank you for supporting the growing community of people living with COVID-19! We appreciate anything you are able to give.
UPDATE: Slack has informed us that our free trial period (which they have generously extended for several months as the group continued to grow exponentially) will end in January. Come January, Slack will begin charging us $12.50 per month per member, and at over 8,000 members, this cost is enormous for our volunteer-run group. As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the world, our group is likely to grow in members and costs.
We are raising our goal to $300,000, money necessary to pay for a Slack subscription in the new year. A small portion of these funds would cover our basic and currently low operational costs of email and web domains. As many of our members describe in the comments below, this group is a lifeline to COVID-19 patients and survivors all over the world who are in great need of resources and emotional support. Please help us keep this important group running, which is free to join and participate in!
DonationsSee top donations
- Marvin Davidson
- Gillian McCrea Lizars