In this essay, I share my experiences and reflections of fighting COVID-19 from the perspective of a resident and a planner living and working in Canberra, Australia. I focus on three themes of building community compassion and collaboration and regard them as potential opportunities deriving from this crisis. First, COVID-19 presents a compulsory situation for establishing a virtual community and practising smart work. Second, COVID-19 helps rediscover a local community and nurture a special community spirit under the social distancing circumstance. Third, COVID-19 creates more opportunities of engaging and understanding nature, interestingly, in a context of staying home. These three themes are in large part rooted in the local communities of a city that is known for low density and being a ‘bush capital’ and possibly suggest some rethinking about the city’s planning legacy.