Everyday heroes of the pandemic

All together now: Singing improves respiratory health, brain function, mental health – and increases social connection. © Getty

In the midst of the global crisis, people are taking care of the elderly, making sure those in quarantine don’t feel alone, and turning cancelled work into opportunities to help society.

What’s happening

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has reached over 150 countries, infected hundreds of thousands of people, and resulted in thousands of deaths. Businesses and schools are closing, and governments advise limiting social contact. Despite this, everyday heroes are reaching out to those most in need.

Find out more

Rules against going out haven’t stopped people helping their neighbours. In Spain, a fitness instructor conducted a session from a rooftop and people in the surrounding flats joined in on their balconies. In another town, neighbours surprised a woman on her 80th birthday by singing to her from their windows. Meanwhile, in the USA, schoolchildren have been making get well soon cards for those in hospital.

In the UK, over-70s have been advised to self-isolate, which can be difficult. To help, shopkeepers in Edinburgh are giving away soap, antiseptic wipes, and sanitiser spray free of charge. Meanwhile, volunteers from a new group called Mutual Aid UK help with dog walking, shopping, and picking up prescriptions.

Does crisis bring out the best in us?

Some say…

Yes! A crisis brings everybody together. For once, the whole world is united in a common aim. The crisis is encouraging individuals to use their different skills and help people in imaginative ways. The situation is making heroes of ordinary people. We should learn from them now, and not forget how to be kind when the crisis is over.

Others think…

Crisis simply creates extremes. For all the good it inspires, a crisis also brings out our worst. Fear makes some people think only of themselves. Some have been panic buying products, leaving the vulnerable with nothing. Others are ignoring advice to reduce social contact. With no crisis, there are no extremes of behaviour and life is simpler.

You Decide

  1. Is there opportunity in crisis?

Activities

  1. Write a letter to somebody you know, who is having to self-isolate, to cheer them up.

Some People Say...

“Something good comes out of every crisis.”

Dave Pelzer, American author

What do you think?

Word Watch

Pandemic
An epidemic is an outbreak of a disease that quickly infects a large number of people. When an epidemic spreads over a wide area at the same time, it is called a pandemic. Coronavirus has spread to more than 100 countries and has affected thousands of people.
Self-isolate
The government has advised certain groups to stay at home and avoid social contact. These groups include people with Covid-19 symptoms, over-70s, and those with underlying health issues.
Panic buying
In the panic surrounding the virus, some people worry that they will not be able to go shopping while in isolation, so they are buying huge amounts of groceries. Certain items, such as toilet roll and soap, are selling out at shops, leaving others without any at all.

Subjects

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