Re: Making policy during COVID and COVID transitions
From: Mac Thomson (
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2020 06:28:07 -0700 (PDT)
In a word, Delegation.

Our Teams agreement <> spells out 
specific responsibilities and authorities for each team, but when there’s a 
gray area about which team or the whole community has authority to make various 
decisions, our Steering team is authorized to decide. That was the case for 
pandemic management. I don’t know why we didn’t see that one coming.  :-)

So the Steering team decided that our Common House team will be responsible for 
deciding on reopening policies for the common house. As with all team 
decisions, they post an agenda to the community before their meeting so 
community members can offer input and attend the meeting if they’d like.

Because Covid cautiousness varies greatly amongst our members, the Common House 
team has tried to keep more required activities, like picking up your mail from 
the mailroom, as safe as possible. Other more optional activities, like outdoor 
potlucks, may not be quite as safe, but because they are optional, members who 
are more Covid cautious don’t attend or they bring their own food and sit 
farther apart.

Mac Thomson

Heartwood Cohousing
Southwest Colorado

"Only those willing to go too far will know how far they can really go."
    - Chuck Yeager

> On Sep 3, 2020, at 3:11 PM, Fern Selzer/US/CA/95003/NBC via Cohousing-L 
> <cohousing-l [at]> wrote:
> Hi all, 
> Our community, New Brighton Cohousing in Aptos, CA has recently been 
> transitioning into more usage of the common house, after many months of 
> minimal usage.  We are also having more community activities.     I am 
> imagining that we will  need to keep gradually transitioning and changing our 
> usage rules.  I am wondering how  we can have a more fluid approach to policy 
> change that actually works and does not burden people with too many emails 
> and conversations, etc.
> We have been making decisions by the whole community, which has made any 
> transitions really slow.  So....some people had loosened up in anticipation 
> as things felt safer, while others were careful to follow the rules until 
> formally changed, which led to some bad feelings between those groups.  Other 
> discomforts were for those with preexisting conditions or older; not trusting 
> that  rules are being followed by others caused them to be more withdrawn or 
> reluctant to participate in community activities.
> I'm thinking you are all having similar issues to navigate and I request any 
> thoughts or suggestions.
> Thanks,
> Fern
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