Coronavirus: how to be kind in a crisis
A few ways you can help your community if you are safe and well
In these uncertain times, the power of kindness can do more than ever. With the outbreak of coronavirus, many people find themselves unwell or isolated from others while they recover. But we are all in this together, and there are ways we can make the situation feel less of a lonely one - for others and for ourselves.
Keep in touch
You may have neighbours who are elderly, vulnerable, or unable to leave the house. Without putting yourself at risk of infection, a phone call, a text, or a note through the door to let them know you are thinking of them and available for help can do wonders. Some communities have set up Whatsapp or Facebook groups, enabling neighbours to check in on each other and offer to run errands for other people or families. Don’t forget, even a quick chat on the phone can really raise the spirits of someone who is stuck indoors all day.
If you can, be the eyes and ears of your community
… while keeping that social distance. We have a responsibility to look out for each other, as well as ourselves. If you’re going to the shop to pick up some supplies, why not offer to help a neighbour stock up while you’re there? In line with government advice, remember to keep your distance and leave their shopping outside their front door. Giving little, otherwise mundane updates on the neighbourhood may help too. Someone in isolation may be sitting in front of the news all day, so keeping them up to date with the goings-on of the closer community during your daily hour of exercise will be a dose of normality at a worrying time.
No one needs trolley-loads of toilet roll
The shelves in your local shop or supermarket look bare at the moment not because there is not enough food and toiletries for everyone, but because people are buying more than they currently need. Stockpiling in advance means that those who are unable to buy in bulk may have to go without. Only buy what you need, and think of other people living locally who might be trying to budget for their needs, too.
Do look after yourself
Being kind means looking after yourself too. If you’re home all day, you might be tempted to drop usual mealtimes and exist on snacks instead. But eating healthy, nutritious meals and trying to get enough sleep is hugely important in keeping yourself in the best possible health to help both yourself and your local community.
And if you're in self-isolation yourself...
You might be physically isolated from others, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep in touch with your loved-ones. Talk regularly to your friends, family and neighbours on the phone, or over text or voicenote - hearing a familiar voice will help.
If you can, stick to your routines around the house
If you feel well enough, getting up and dressed might make you feel better. If you have a certain morning or evening routine you can stick to, do it.
No one should go through it alone
As well as friends, family members, and neighbours, you can get advice from charities and your local council too. On social media, others in isolation have been speaking about their own experiences. If you don’t want to talk about yourself, reading or listening to their stories might make you feel less alone.
Do remember that we’re all in this together
The world is more connected than ever before, and most of us are going through similar emotions and experiences at the moment. Use as many contacts and networks you need to help yourself through the challenges ahead. Remember that ultimately there is a global effort being made to combat this virus and that even by staying at home, you are playing your part.
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