Smart Clinic

Coronavirus: what we’ve learnt about ourselves.

The world has seen a situation unlike anything most of us have experienced before (I’m trying to avoid using the word ‘unprecedented’ here). We’re learning as much as we can, as quickly as possible, about a deadly virus that is spreading across the world.

However, watching the world’s reaction and behaviour to this has been fascinating, and in some instances, very heart-warming.

Many of us have observed some ugly behaviours, fights over toilet paper, greed and stockpiling with no regard for the vulnerable being the most widely publicised. But these things aside, the gritty reaction, community spirit, and unwavering support of those battling to protect us against the virus, shows that when it’s really required, we know how best to react.

So I’d like to share a few uplifting moments I have seen on social media, the news and in real life.

1. Clapping.

There has probably never been a time where the NHS has been so critical. Doctors, nurses and healthworkers are being drafted in wherever possible, putting the country’s interests way before their own. They’re putting themselves at risk, often without the necessary protective equipment, to try and help others.

And this hasn’t gone unnoticed by the general public. It was so heartwarming to see people on their balconies, at their windows and online, ‘clapping for our carers’. The clap was even joined by one of the most high-profile victims of coronavirus, Prime-Minister Boris Johnson.

2. Shops supporting NHS workers.

Businesses have joined in the support of keyworkers around the country. With many outlets providing free food and drink to NHS workers, or giving them designated times to do their shopping away from the rest of the public, to protect them wherever possible.

3. Recognition of keyworkers.

When the country is stripped back to its essentials, it’s not the footballers or celebrities still being asked to work. It’s those stacking our supermarket shelves, delivering our goods, producing and manufacturing food, and of course providing care, who are classed as essential.

There is an impressive national appreciation for these people, and I sincerely hope this continues beyond the crisis, and we continue to remember the value that these (often overlooked) industries bring to our country.

4. Embracing social media.

I’ve never been a fan of social media. I’ve always found labelling it ‘social’ to be ironic, given the detrimental impact it can have on people’s mental health. However social media, and video conferencing platforms have been used so impressively during this time of isolation.

People are entertaining themselves by sending each other funny videos of each other dancing, sharing online exercise activities, setting each other challenges, and just generally checking in with each other.

I would wager, some of us are probably speaking with some of our distant family more now, than before the pandemic.

5. Creative, free activities.

In a strange world where money is all but worthless, people are finding new and often free ways to entertain each other. Those with children are making toys from cardboard boxes and toilet roll tubes. Those who like moving are learning new dances from YouTube. And are seemingly happier for it.

Perhaps there are some important lessons to be learnt from all of this, that we can remember when it’s all over.