A woman from Cornwall has come up with a simple yet powerful way to help her neighbours amid the coronavirus outbreak, in an idea that’s been welcomed by communities worldwide.
A global health pandemic brings out different sides of people – and, in amid the stockpiling and general sense of unease that’s accompanied the coronavirus outbreak, we’re starting to see acts of small-scale heroism bobbing to the surface.
Take the locked-down residents of Granada, Spain, who came out on their balconies to applaud the health service at exactly 10pm last night. Or the people in a long queue as a supermarket in Philadelphia, US, who decided en-masse, that everyone elderly should skip the line and go ahead of them.
Now a young woman from Cornwall has joined the ranks of these good folk, with a #viralkindness campaign she dreamt up to help self-isolating neighbours.
Feeling helpless amid the onslaught of coronavirus, Becky Wass from Falmouth decided to do her bit by creating a shareable postcard for people to distribute in their communities.
The template, which she posted on Facebook, begins “Hello! If you are self-isolating, I can help.”
It then gives tick-box options that offer a list of neighbourly services for those who are self-isolating, covering everything from picking up shopping to making a friendly phone call.
Wass’ plea led the hashtag #viralkindness to start trending, as people all over the world rushed to share the post. Many said they would the template to kickstart their own systems of neighbourhood support.
“Just setting up a group here in Perth WA and these cards are great!” read one typical response, along with, “Thank you – shared in our village WhatsApp group”.
A flood of similar comments followed, along with over 3,000 shares on the original message.
“I do think in times like this everybody wants to do something to help, and this postcard just makes that a little bit easier,” Wass explained to the BBC.
“I’ve been blown away by the response to the #viralkindness postcard and all the positivity! The world is a wonderful place sometimes,” she added in a further Facebook post.
There’s nothing fancy about Wass did, and yet it’s such a powerful idea. At a time when we’re necessarily stepping back from one another in a physical sense, communities need to come together more closely than ever before.
This includes really looking out for people with pre-existing health conditions, and also the elderly. Many older people may feel isolated at the best of times, and, even if they are not ill, the current news around coronavirus is bound to be creating a lot of anxiety.
In these circumstances, little glimmers of humanity make all the difference to those who need it: Wass’ postcard is a great way of getting stuck right in.