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Corona Connect: Staying Secure in the Community

20 March 2020

Cyrex team develops community outreach platform for those affected by COVID-19 in Belgium and its surrounding areas. 100% free to use and completely secure, Corona-Connect.be connects those in need with those willing to help in the face of one of the most trying times in recent memory.

Right now we are facing into a time in human history where it’s never been more important to think of others and do what we can to help. Health and safety instructions from authorities worldwide have told us to come together as humans by staying apart. Unfortunately for many out there, this isn’t always helpful. In any society there are always those who are more capable and those who are less so. Many are very skilled in one capacity but not so capable in others. With so many vulnerable and in need, it’s important to remember what impact our varying skills and abilities can do to help others.

As developers, coders, and security specialists, our skills in the field are limited. We aren’t trained medical professionals. We aren’t emergency services personnel. But we do have skills and we want to apply them in any way we can when it comes to helping others in need as the coronavirus spreads and leaves many members of our community at risk or less able to go about their daily routine. This is where Corona-Connect.be comes in.

What is Corona-Connect.be?

Corona-Connect.be is a completely free, completely secure platform built to connect those in need and those left vulnerable as a result of COVID-19 with those who want to help. So far we have helped connect hundreds of people across Belgium with others in their community. From people needing assistance with their weekly shop to childminders offering help to hard-working parents who don’t have the option to work from home.

How does it work?

Like a notice board you might see in your local supermarket, Corona-Connect.be creates a space for people to leave a message for others viewing the page. Some messages may be from those in need of help, some may be from those offering help. Contacts are made privately via email and there is no need for sign up or account creation at any stage.

How do I use Corona-Connect.be?

Using the platform is incredibly simple. By clicking on the ‘Post A Message’ button, users are presented with a short form in which they can post their advertisement to the public board.

Filling out the form only takes a few moments:

  • Outline whether you are offering or in need of help.
  • Submit an outline of how you can help or how others can help you.
  • Enter your email address (so others can contact you directly).
  • Enter your region (to link with others in your area).
  • Choose a category (categories include day care and childminding, groceries and shopping, chores and housework, jobs, initiatives and ideas, meals and cooking, and other).
  • Click ‘Place’ to submit your message.

And that’s it! Those wishing to respond to a message posted on Corona-Connect.be can simply click the ‘Connect’ button on posts and respond directly. Email addresses are never made public on the platform and all personal information is kept 100% secure and confidential.

Corona-Connect.be also has a search function allowing users to search for messages by region, category, or whether users are in need of or offering help.

Sounds great! How can I help?

Lots of ways! This whole platform is built on goodwill and in hopes of encouraging goodwill in others, so there are many ways to play your part.
  • Are you in a position to help others in your area? You can make or answer a post on Corona-Connect.be
  • Do you have a unique skill or some free time? Put it to good use in your community. Make or answer a post.
  • Do you live in Belgium and want to help but aren’t in a position to right now? Share the page. Every little helps.
  • Do you know someone who might be able to help? Send them a link. Sometimes the most effective way to help is just to spread good information.
  • Do you know someone who might be in need? Send them a link. Let them know posting can be done completely anonymously until the point of one-to-one contact.
  • Are you in a position to post on behalf of someone who can’t post for themselves? Contact them and coordinate communications for them.
We’d love to hear from you! If you’ve got any feedback on the Corona-Connect.be platform or have an idea of how we can develop or improve it, get in touch. Stay safe, stay secure, and help out where you can – together we can get through this tough time!