Has COVID-19 Been the Death of Patch Life?

There are many things to moan about when it comes to Patch life. But there are so many more to be grateful for. And one of those is the support, comfort and stability that comes from patch communities. Whether it be a coffee morning, a baby singing group, charity fundraiser or a wine and quiz night, as military spouses, we know that no one understands our life more than another military spouse. No matter your background, ultimately, you are all on the same ride and there is a camaraderie that comes from knowing this.

But lockdown has meant community feeling has been severely hampered. With cancelled groups, closed community centres and no holiday activities that normally provide an opportunity for new families to meet old ones, feeling like a member of the community isn’t as easy as it once was.

So, can the community element of patch life transition to the new environment of social distancing or has COVID-19 been the death of what is held so important for so many?

Welfare teams and Spouse Groups need to think outside the box, and embrace technology as a means of providing the valuable touch points with others. A summer programme of events held online provides the opportunity to reach a broader audience. The Scouts held a series of weekend activities which were hosted by celebrities such as Bear Grylls – something that wouldn’t have been possible prior to COVID-19. The local school organised a scavenger hunt where each family takes part but loads their finds up to a shared online page.

It might not be the same as old, and it might not have the same face to face contact we all hold so important, but if this is the future, we need to embrace it sooner rather than later or risk it being eradicated altogether.