United in Isolation


Someone once said, “The human spirit will endure” and during these uncertain times this mantra is one which is pulling us together as a species, not just on a local level but this crisis is uniting people across the globe. This unprecedented outbreak of the Coronavirus strain, Covid-19, has been described as the 'worst public health crisis for a generation' by the UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Many countries are taking drastic measures in a bid to halt the spread of the virus, including social distancing, closing bars, restaurants and schools or, in the case of places like Italy, putting the entire community on lockdown.

The situation is changing rapidly and in the age of the instant communication, the breaking news updates are constant. So much so that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has suggested that if your mental health is suffering with the anxieties that the news brings, to limit and 'seek information updates at specific times during the day once or twice', according to the BBC.

This news is, of course, serious and required as it serves the purpose of informing the public about the latest developments. However, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and miss out on some of the more positive news updates that are still occurring in light of the concerning situation. We are, indeed, going through turbulent waters, and as is the case the very best elements of human nature can prevail. At Whywaste we are struck by the growing number of Coronavirus-related good news stories cropping up found from around the world, demonstrating the power of displaying care and kindness to those less fortunate or able than you in a crisis.

Whether it is self-isolating dancing to their own tune or Spanish police officers entertaining with their guitar skills, we are all in this fight together and we will overcome it together. The hope is that once we are through this, the kindness and goodwill shown towards each other will continue.

We have compiled a list of 10 amazing acts of kindness and community to warm your insides during this dark period.

GLOBAL COMMUNITY

On 18th March Rio de Janeiro’s towering Christ The Redeemer statue was draped with the flags of those counties who are suffering with through the Coronavirus pandemic. At the time of writing 99% of countries have reported cases of Corona. We are brought together by a destructive force and images such as this reinforce the sentiment that we are all connected.

RETAIL

Over the weekend in the UK, supermarket chains including Sainsbury's and Asda issued a warning to ask people not to stockpile unnecessarily. They reiterated that there should be enough supplies for everyone as long as people only buy what they need.

Amid growing concern that elderly and vulnerable people would miss out on essential supplies due to the trend for stockpiling - which has reached concerning levels in Australia - one of the country's biggest supermarket chains is opening dedicated hours for those who need it.

Woolworths announced on Monday that 7-8 am would be a 'dedicated shopping hour in our stores to help support the needs of the elderly and people with disability in the community'.

FOOD WASTE

Second Harvest, Canada’s largest Food redistribution service, a out on the road during the crisis picking up food from donors and delivering it to hundreds of frontline social service agencies. Second Harvest’s online, local, food donation platform, is connecting food donations with people who need it. In the first half of March alone, Second Harvest delivered food for more than half a million meals to their non-profit agency partners in Ontario and BC.

For more information on Second Harvest and to make a donation to keep their trucks rolling please visit secondharvest.ca

COMMUNITY CARE

Workers at an assisted-living centre in Wales decided to lift people’s spirits by playing a real-life game of Hungry Hungry Hippos. They used wheelchairs to move players back and forth, and put baskets on the end of broomsticks to collect balls. Small acts like this, to keep the residents happy, stimulated and motivated during this time really warms the soul!

COMMUNITY SPIRIT

In Italy, where citizens have been on lockdown since the start of last week, impromptu mass sing and dance-alongs have been taking place via balconies.

The Good News Movement Instagram account shared this video of a Friday night balcony dance party in Milan where locals were attempting to keep spirits up despite being housebound.

In Copenhagen, across the water from Whywaste's base, residents were seen leaning from windows in a beautiful rendition of ‘You’ve got a friend’

ENVIRONMENTAL

Many parts of Italy, including Venice, have been on lockdown for weeks as Italy grapples with the severe Coronavirus outbreak in the country.

One small silver lining has been reported in Venice. Locals have noticed how clear the water appears perhaps due to the lack of motor boats and general crows and pollution. These clearer waters have even led to wildlife appearing in the canals with swans, fish and more spotted in recent days.

INDIVIDUAL ACTS

One of the biggest shortages in supermarkets at the moment is toilet paper as people panic stockpile in the event they can't reach the shops at some point.

In Australia, two friends clubbed together their pocket money to buy toilet roll to distribute to elderly neighbours in their Queensland community after being shocked at the lack of toilet roll in the shelves in their supermarket.

Heartwarming!

INDIVIDUAL ACTS - SPORTS STARS

The NBA basketball season has been suspended due to Coronavirus, leading several NBA players to donate to the security personnel, stewards, catering staff and cleaners who work in the arenas during the season and therefore could miss out on income amid the closure.

Blake Griffin donated $100,000 to help workers at his home team’s Detroit arena, Zion Williamson did the same pledging to 'cover the salaries' for his New Orleans colleagues. The Golden State Warriors players and management also confirmed they would be donating $1 million to support the workers who are affected. Additionally, NBA superstar Steph Curry and his wife Ayesha have donated $1 million to pupils in Oakland, California who rely on school meals and won't be attending school due to their closure.

On Wednesday, former England footballer Gary Neville - who also runs a chain of hotels in the Manchester area - announced he would be opening his hotels free of charge for NHS workers to stay at. This means that any NHS members who would otherwise be forced to isolate if family members experienced symptoms can instead stay at hotel.

Similarly, in London, Chelsea FC have loaned their Stamford Bridge hotel to NHS workers needing accommodation with the bill being footed by chairman Bruce Buck and owner Roman Abramovich.

MEDIA

Producers behind long-running BBC medical dramas Holby City and Casualty, have announced they will be donating protective equipment from their set to NHS staff. Personal protective equipment (PPE) from the set of the shows - which have currently suspended production - such as masks will be sent to NHS staff working on the front line.

BRANDS

More reassuring news has been found among companies diverting their resources specifically to help target Covid-19 relief strategies.

LVMH, the parent company of brands including Dior, Givenchy and more, announced that they will be producing disinfectant gel rather than perfume which they will distribute to hospitals and health authorities for free.

More on this story can be found here.

Several beer and spirit brands have joined the fight too and have started using the alcohol content in their products to make hand sanitiser. Scottish based Brewdog announced the move on Instagram last week with the launch of their Brewgel Punk Sanitiser!

HEALTHCARE SUPPORT

We have possibly saved the most important 'positive' news story to last. Medical staff are putting themselves on the frontline to ensure everyone is cared for. They are working hard and tirelessly to provide care to those severely affected by Covid-19.

Last the weekend, after a social media campaign, a co-ordinated mass applause for healthcare workers broke out in several areas across Spain, including Pamplona, Madrid and Murcia - where many are on lockdown - via their windows. These scenes have been replicated across the world in Italy, Norway, UK, China and Germany, and many large companies have been providing healthcare workers with discounted or free products.

We are forever indebted to these hardworking and selfless people.

While researching this post there were countless stories from across the world that warmed the cockles of my heart. In this time of isolation, it somehow brings us closer together.

Keep safe, Keep strong and look after one another.

Love the Whywaste team

Editor: This Article was first published on 26 March, 2020