We’ve watched and read the news about COVID-19 with a mix of shock and wonder, amazed at what is unfurling around us. There are only so many empty supermarket shelves you can see — and empty, vague statements from politicians — before you start to wonder if you should be panicking. It’s tough to stay grounded in these times, and everyone should look after their own and others’ wellbeing.
We deserve governments that are prepared and inclined to look out for the best interests of the people, and what we’ve seen in the US and UK and elsewhere is disappointing, to say the least. At the end of the day, the one thing we can control is our own behaviour. As the initial shock gives way to coping, we see glimmers of hope. Even right now, listening to the radio whilst working from home here in the UK, people are calling in messages of thanks to the NHS and other healthcare workers. Companies, including ours, are trying their best to look after people’s mental health. And charities such as Age UK, whose causes are directly related to COVID-19, are receiving much needed attention and support.
And then there’s the #HelpEachOther and #ViralKindness hashtags. Scrolling through posts using these hashtags offers a parallel story to the grave news being reported — a story in which people are doing whatever they can to help one another out. Looking after those who don’t have support. Checking on people living alone. Buying supplies for the elderly.
It’s a reminder that we can look to the news, look to the private sector and look at supermarket shelves. But now is a time we also need to look to one another and to the nonprofits and institutions who are on the frontlines. We’ll of course still have concerns and be worried, but we’ll also have a community. And with that, some hope.
If you or anyone you know needs help, please get in touch with any of these organisations:
In the U.K.
@age_uk: 0800 678 1602
@asthmauk: 0300 222 5800
@TheBHF: 0300 330 3311
@DiabetesUK: 0345 123 2399
@MindCharity: 0300 123 3393
@scope: 0808 800 3333
@TheSilverLineUK: 0800 470 8090
If you want to take action without leaving your quarantine, you can also support these organisations who are raising awareness, conducting community outreach, offering medical support and more around the COVID-19 crisis: