Everyone is talking about the coronavirus pandemic in real life and it is the same with people on the internet. Reddit is no different and there are many subreddit dedicated to the crisis including r/Coronavirus (1.4 million members) and r/Covid19 (101,000 members). These subreddits have quickly been overflowed with people seeking news about the pandemic. They exist to disseminate information and of course, are victim to misinformation.
But there’s a much smaller, more intimate COVID-19 subreddit — r/Covid19_support, which boasts only 11,900 members — that is doing something different. The service it provides Reddit users is not one of news and information, but emotional support.
One post in the r/Covid19_support group asked if anyone else had trouble going grocery shopping for fear of being sick, with one user responding, “I’m not so worried I’ll get the virus, I think just seeing shelves empty or a ton of people buying it will stress me out.” Others replied with worries for workers who have been deemed “essential.”
Many of the posts focus on a topic that concerns many people. People are having to make the difficult decision to isolate from family during a period that you want to be with them more than ever. Luckily, on r/Covid19_support, members are not alone in this struggle. Governments around the world have laid out varying instructions on how to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 which, for many people, has meant staying at home. But there’s been little direction on how to actually live through a pandemic.