Touching Hands

Can the Coronavirus Bring us Together?

The coronavirus pandemic is a truly unprecedented situation. The spread of the virus has sparked worldwide fear, uncertainty and disruption, and the implementation of measures usually reserved for wartime.

The closure of borders, social distancing and self-isolation, it may feel like our worlds are shrinking. But in these disconcerting times, community spirit and helping one another is what is needed most.

Every Man for Himself?

An attitude of ‘every man for himself’ has been emerging in the UK over the past few days.

Images and videos of shoppers jostling for products and filling their trolleys with ludicrous numbers of products have been widely circulated. Staples like bread, milk, eggs and tea are being swooped off shelves, leaving those who are most in need struggling to get the essentials.

Thankfully, many supermarkets are now implementing ‘elderly hours’ to help the elderly get the supplies they need, as well as restricting the number of items which shoppers can purchase.

Nonetheless, the selfishness and lack of regard for others showcased this week is concerning considering the unchartered territory we find ourselves in.

Empty Shelves in Tesco in Oxford. [Image: Oxfordmail]

The virus will be an enormous challenge for us all. Those with elderly and sick relatives are deeply concerned of their loved ones contracting the virus, parents will be wondering how they can look after their children when schools close this Friday, the financial and social impacts of long-term self-isolation is inducing panic and worry among millions of Britons.

This is not even to mention the mental health challenges which many will face as a result of the coronavirus and the wide-ranging changes it is forcing us to make.

As a society, we must move away from self-centredness and adopt some altruism and basic human decency. Getting through this immensely difficult situation is going to require collaboration and a community spirit.

As a society, we must move away from self-centredness and adopt some altruism and basic human decency.   

What Can we do?

In the infamous words of David Cameron, this time we really are all in this together. And if we are all in this together, we need to come together, we need to help one another.

We don’t need to be revolutionary in the actions we take. Quite often, just small actions can make a huge difference.

Be mindful of others, and don’t buy more than you need. If you know vulnerable people or anyone who could become isolated during this time, reach out to them. Ask those within your circle how they are coping. Do what you can.

Just yesterday it was reported that two teenagers from Yorkshire have been delivering small boxes of essentials to their elderly neighbours. Also, a chef in Wrinton has been delivering home-cooked meals for those in isolation and vulnerable positions after the outbreak of the coronavirus.

We don’t need to be revolutionary in the actions we take. Quite often, just small actions can make a huge difference.

If these kinds of actions can be replicated throughout the country, those most in need can be reached. We can provide the most vulnerable with a crucial sense of comfort and safety in these testing times.

Together we can use this time of huge uncertainty and disruption to foster a community spirit and to feel more connected, which will have lasting positive effects for individuals and society.

A Healing Process?

After years of division and discord on political lines, maybe we can begin to heal some of those wounds and find common ground in these unsettling times.

We can look beyond political beliefs and ideas, beyond Brexit, beyond all the hatred and reach some unity amidst all the fear and uncertainty. We can come together as humans and transcend the barriers which have separated us.

Perhaps now we can get a glimpse of the reality: that we are all human and at our most fundamental level, we have the same needs and desires.

Let’s help one another.

Written by
Richard Ballout
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