The big concern (and the reason I left Couchsurfing) for my partner and I is the virus pandemic.We’re an old couple,who really enjoy hosting. Having random people come and stay is challenging now. I’m wondering how a hospitality group can work around this pandemic.
It might be necessary for a while to promote the idea of outside meetups doing fun “outdoorsy” things together. A trip to the beach, a trip to the mountains , a guided city walk etc.
I understand we all want to host each other and stay with each other, but at an organisational level, I wonder if we all need to officially play by the rules of " x number of people are allowed to gather for outdoor events" .
And if during those events , some enjoy each other’s company and want to make private arrangements to host, that’s up to them. I understand, that’s not the ideal, but see rewards for being seen as “socially responsible” , “socially concerned” enough to put aside the hosting emphasis for a while for reasons of safety for our community.That could be turned into a big plus for us if handled well.
I’m worried that if there was even one situation where there was transmission of the virus through official hosting that was linked to Couchers.org, that would be so terrible in the public perception.
I understand the situation varies everywhere. Here in Adelaide , the virus is seemingly eliminated… the same as in some other Australian states, Pacific Islands and New Zealand. But Melbourne is threatening! So even here it isn’t “cut and dried”.
Probably , as the world is in such a state of flux, we will need to self moderate our communities and organise ourselves as appropriate.
I’d like this topic to be one of sharing ideas where we discuss a flexible model of functioning so we can thrive , even during a pandemic.
Before leaving Couchsurfing I wrote to their head of Safety. Florian. (I guess you have heard of him). He agreed that Couchsurfing are on the backfoot regarding the virus and protocols… and agreed they have given no warnings or recommendations about safety in a pandemic… but decided to concentrate on money issues instead. Not a good look for their safety officer response! It would be great if we could learn and benefit from what they have done/haven’t done.
Best wishes Philip (and Hugh)