*Maria Ceban with doctors at Moldova’s Infectious Diseases Hospital Toma Ciorbă, in Chișinău.

Joseph Chalita from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and Maria Ceban from Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca Romania, discovered some of the ways that local communities are supporting the COVID-19 recovery.

Health care workers in Western Sydney have praised residents for supporting the more vulnerable members of the community during the height of the pandemic.

Westmead Hospital Emergency Nurse Joanna Michaels, says she has found “goodness in solidarity.”

“A lot of the community has been more strongly working together to outlive the peak stress of the pandemic… sharing what little people have of food and resources has been a [sign of] hope for everyone,” she said.

“People should be banding together in an emergency crisis and we have been seeing that.”

In the midst of flu season, residents have been observing social distancing and attending local clinics for flu shots.

“Many different people have come through to reduce the chances of spreading anything at all to others,” nurse Jacqueline Williams said.

“The flu can be just as stressful at the moment as COVID-19.”

Local businesses have continued to support health workers and their communities.

“Here at the hospital, the outpouring of gifts from local businesses has meant that we have been well-fed and nourished, making it all a little bit easier,” Ms Michaels said.


Westmead Hospital Sydney, where medical staff are receiving gifts of food from local businesses, as they work overtime away from family and friends. (Photo: Joseph Chalita)


Local Mayor of Cumberland Council Steve Christou, said the council is responding to new COVID-19 guidance from both federal and state governments in its staggered reopening of community services such as libraries, indoor pools and other recreational facilities.

“We’re all in this together and council is here supporting the community so we can come out the other side,” he said.

In the Republic of Moldova, where a spike in new infections in late June made world headlines, local communities are continuing to rally to support front-line health workers beset by a lack of protective equipment.

According to Dr Petru Pavliuc, a specialist at the Infectious Diseases Hospital Toma Ciorbă, in Chișinău, the local townspeople are donating much-needed medical equipment.

“Even from the start many local entrepreneurs offered their help and gave us face shields, which were so important and better than simple glasses.”

“Masks, protective coveralls and gloves were also donated,” he said.

With more than 21,000 coronavirus cases by July 21, Moldova was one of 11 countries the World Health Organisation’s Regional Director for Europe Dr Hans Henry P. Kluge identified as experiencing, “a very significant resurgence” of the virus.

In an earlier Facebook post, Moldova’s former health minister Dr Ala Nemerenco, described the virus spread in Moldova as out of control.

“You don’t have to be an epidemiologist, a virologist, or even a doctor to understand that the situation has gotten out of control,” he said.


Doctors at Moldova’s Infectious Diseases Hospital prepare medication for patients especially impacted by the coronavirus. (Photo: Maria Ceban)


“People have been donating… water dispensers, coffee machines and food, Dr Pavliuc said. “In this time of need, these things are so helpful.”

And from nurse Ludmila Postolachi: Caruso and Andy’s Pizza, both local restaurants, provided us with lunch. Many Moldovan producers gave us fruits, vegetables and honey.”

Joseph Chalita and Maria Ceban