How are people supporting each other in this time of crisis?

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‘Do your little bit of good where you are.’ So said Archbishop Desmond Tutu. And in this time of global crisis, that is precisely what people are starting to do.

The coronavirus is, as all crises do, shows the human race’s true character. But, as Rutger Bregman, a Dutch historian and author, recently wrote in The Correspondent, “Disasters and crises bring out the best in us.”

Here, in Eindhoven, a Facebook group called Coronahulp Eindhoven is calling on people offering or seeking help. It was started yesterday evening and already has more than 1,300 members – offering assistance ranging from grocery shopping to child care. There is also #coronahulp on Twitter, doing the same thing, but throughout the Netherlands.

Singing in solidarity

Further afield, in Italy, which is in lockdown, people are bolstering each other spirits in song. There are videos on Youtube, from various sources, including the Global News, showing Italians joining each other in song. All the while, while being isolated in their separate homes.

These spontaneous shows of solidarity’s theme is Andrá tutto bene – Everything will be alright. This, in turn, led to a call for Italians to applaud doctors and other health workers who are tirelessly battling this pandemic in that country.

And, so at midday yesterday, people in Italy did just that. A doctor in Italy, Dr Roberto Persiani tweeted this yesterday, “This is applause is for all … us doctors! This is the Italian people. And I’m deeply touched…”

In Wuhan, the Chinese city that, until recently, bore the brunt of this pandemic saw similar scenes of solidarity during its lockdown. A Guardian report shows countless people chanting ‘jiayou’. This is a Cantonese expression which means ‘don’t give up’.

In the days and months to come, as this new strain of the coronavirus keeps spreading, and more countries are affected, being locked down, more scenes and initiatives like these will undoubtedly pop up all over the world.

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