Re: COVID divisions
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2021 06:26:24 -0700 (PDT)
Also the larger view of "these smart people do the right thing" and "those
dumb people do the wrong thing" hides the disagreements among people who
are supposedly in the right camp.

In our community most of the disagreement is between people who want to be
"very strict" and those who want to be only "strict". Or as, those of us in
the second group say "reasonable" or "follow the science" or "avoid
performative behaviors", which for those of us in that group turns out to
be "not like those crazy extremists".
(As far as we know all eligible adults are vaccinated, but we don't ask any
individuals to share medical information.)

So I don't think that any group is going to avoid conflict around a hard
and changing situation.

What we have done successfully is ask "how can we meet the most people's
needs as possible."
So for example, we didn't close the common house, but did require that
everyone who uses any room sign up for it. That way others who are more
strict can see if anyone else was in a room and do any cleaning/airing
out/wait time that meets their needs.
The strictest folk, of course, do not use the common house, but there is no
reason (in our community) for the more moderate of us to not use it.
And then it turned out the strictest folk wanted to know that there was
never anyone in the mailroom at any time without a mask. So they asked for
that and people--some who agree, some who do not--all agreed to wear masks
in the mailroom to meet that families concerns.

Which I suppose is a long way to agree with Alan's idea of secret sauce.
Our goal wasn't to find agreement on what is the right thing to do, but
rather to find a point where each individual in our community can do what
is right for them.

(The Rev. Dr.) Elizabeth Mae Magill
Pastor, Ashburnham Community Church
Minister to the Affiliates, Ecclesia Ministries

On Mon, Aug 16, 2021 at 8:41 AM Alan O'Hashi via Cohousing-L <
cohousing-l [at]> wrote:

> The COVID-21 topic is one that tests a forming community. It is an issue
> that summarizes what the cohousing secret sauce is all about. One of the
> reasons why cohousing isn't popping up on every street corner is the basic
> secret sauce ingredient, which is shedding the American Way as it has been
> pounded into our heads since we popped out of the womb.
> What society tells us is that we are rugged individuals who can make our
> own choices and don't need help from others. Cohousing secret sauce is the
> opposite, we give up individual liberty for the good of the whole, albeit,
> there's a gray-area balancing zone, which is where community COVID policies
> fall.
> I read the original post about 60percent think x and 40percent think y and
> why can't the y-thinkers just cave to the 60percent. In cohousing, the
> majority rule, win by one means of decision making is tossed out the window.
> When you find yourself lapsing back into the American Way, take a step
> back. In a consensus community, the question is, What is the x-thinkers
> willing to give up to bring the y-thinkers into the whole? This doesn't
> mean that the y-thinkers can block a decision based on individual
> discomfort or self-serving perspectives. The y-thinkers must frame their
> objections in terms of how their view is a community issue.
> When COVID first hit, my place -- I imagine like most communities -- are
> microcosms of the outside world. We have/had a Dr. Google, MD who had all
> the answers, was an anti masker he also had a nurse practitioner or two who
> carried around his medical bag.
> Where we landed was, a resident didn't have to wear a mask, but had to
> have one on their person if they encountered anyone in the outdoor common
> spaces. The anti maskers were okay with social distancing. We were
> universally in agreement to close the common house. The main issue was the
> arrogance, more than the actual mask issue.
> While it is not talked about, in my view, we are now gearing up for the
> next wave.
> Thx
> Alan O
> Alan O'Hashi
> Get Up Off the Couch
> www.getupoffthecouch.comCO: 303-910-5782 ....WY: 307-316-2113 ..NE:
> 402-327-1652 ....
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