As uncertainty around the coronavirus outbreak continues, communities around the world are looking for ways to support one another.
One woman has come up with an innovative yet simple way to reach out to her neighbours: a PDF postcard offering practical help that anyone can print and distribute.
Hours after Boris Johnson announced Britain was to enter the ‘delay’ phase of the response to the pandemic on Thursday, Becky Wass reflected on the uncertainty facing the nation and decided to confront it in a practical way.
The freelance copywriter, who lives in Falmouth, Cornwall, with her husbandJon Green and their dog Captain, told HuffPost UK: “After weeks of news about the coronavirus, I felt as I’m sure many people did, very scared and helpless.
“Jon and I were talking about how it must feel if you are at risk or can’t leave the house.
“We wanted to do something to help, but without making things worse.”
The 32-year-old, who is also an associate lecturer in creative advertising at Falmouth University, made a postcard and has put it through the doors of “a handful” of neighbours.
In a bid to spread the word a PDF of her postcard that is free to print, share and use can be downloaded online.
It says: “Hello. If you are self-isolating, I can help.” People can then fill out their name, address and phone number, then tick boxes indicating how they can help. The options include picking up shopping, posting mail, a friendly phone call and urgent supplies.
It adds: “Just call or text me and I’ll do my best to help you (for free!)”
Wass also added safety notes so people who take part ensure they “are spreading only kindness”.
She said: “The #viralkindness postcard enables people to let their neighbours know they are there, without making physical contact.
“It has tick boxes to inspire people to offer help in different ways. Sometimes a phone call could be all someone needs.
“I’ve been so overwhelmed with the positive reaction it has had. I really feel that kindness is going viral.”
Charities are already scrambling to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak by sharing information on how to help those in need.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, recently told HuffPost now is to the time to look out for your neighbours. She said: “The coronavirus outbreak is obviously a huge worry and looks likely to be challenging for our older population so it is more important than ever to be vigilant and look out for older friends, neighbours and relatives to make sure they’re okay.”
Liam Evans from Turn2Us added: “Sometimes, you do have to reply on your community to help. Obviously, we’re urging the government to step in as much as possible too – but no one is going to check on your neighbour more likely than you. It’s more of a social responsibility to keep an eye on your community.”