Is this a dream?
For the past week, I have been waking up each morning and thinking “is this a dream”? I think I speak for a lot of the world that has been opening their eyes with the same thoughts.
The reality is that Coronavirus is here and it is being felt by almost everyone worldwide. It’s a very scary and unsettling time and something that, hopefully, we will never have to experience ever again in our lifetimes.
Here in the UK, the Government has announced a more enforced lock-down, urging us to stay at home. For many, there are huge financial worries, increased health anxieties and fear of loneliness as the true reality of social distancing and isolation sinks in.
Let's focus on the positives.
Today’s blog post however, is not to focus on the bad, which we so often hear on the news and on social media every single day. Instead, we are going to focus on the good and all the positives that are happening all around us.
If there is something positive that has come from Covid-19, it’s that the world is full of truly generous, kind and wonderful human beings going out of their ways to help others.
This blog post is to share some of the fantastic and humbling acts of kindness that makes me proud to be human. These individual acts of kindness are intended to brighten your day, put a smile on your face and take your mind off the bad and replace with the good stuff. We all need some positivity in our lives right now.
Individual Acts of Kindness
A Yorkshire couple who had their wedding cancelled, due to the Coronavirus decide to donate their wedding food rather than request a refund. 250 hog roast sandwiches were given out to staff at Hull Royal Infirmary NHS hospital to say 'thank you' for their hard work battling the coronavirus pandemic.
A generous Brighton resident ‘Andrew Den Cusack ‘, offered his 2 bed flat which is listed on Airbnb, free of charge for anyone working in the NHS that needed to self-isolate. On a Facebook post, Andrew writes “I've made this offer because in the last 4 years I've had 2 Kidney transplants, spent a year on dialysis, received multiple blood transfusions and I wouldn't be alive without the legendary NHS, or heroic blood/organ donors. I'm grateful for the chance to give something back”.
A whooping 15,500 (and growing) residents of Brighton and Hove have joined up to a Facebook Group called ‘Brighton Covid 19 Mutual Aid’. The group was set up by a lecturer at the University of Sussex 'Dr Andrea Brock' and her friend 'Daniel Therkelsen'.
A thoughtful lady in Brighton, called Zuzi Papcunova wanted to give back to all the wonderful staff at her local Aldi supermarket on London Road, Brighton.
On a Facebook post, Zuzi wrote: “Yesterday, I've witnessed first hand the horrible stress that grocery store workers go through at the moment (re-stocking, not enough stock, unhappy (screaming) customers, panic buying, long queues etc...). So instead of panic shopping, I've decided to skip coffee shop visits for the next year and bought some Costa vouchers for Aldi on London Road (the grocery store I visit the most). Everyone deserves a break ♥️ #BeKind”.
Local Businesses - Acts of Kindness
The Grand Hotel in Brighton has offered its bedrooms to NHS staff that need a safe place to relax after their exhausting 12-18 hour shifts saving lives. Some need to self-isolate so they don’t put their families health at risk.
Dave Jones, the owner of D Jones Butchers in Earlsheaton, Dewsbury wanted to do more for the most vulnerable in his community. In a post on Twitter , he wrote: "If anyone near our shop has to self isolate over the coronavirus and are on benefits I will put together a two week food parcel that will be delivered to your door."
A taxi company in Swansea called Dragon Taxi’s, have been offering free trips to transport food supplied to the elderly and vulnerable who are unable to leave their house. They are utilising their 400 drivers by delivering food to local care homes without any charge.
A small convenience shop in Edinburgh called Day-Today Drylaw Local has been making up ‘coronavirus packs’. These contain one toilet roll, an antibacterial handwash, one packet of pocket tissues and a packet of paracetamol and handed them out to over-65s. Staff are now offering to deliver the packs for free if customers are unable to come into the shop.
After being forced to close, local pubs and restaurants up and down the country have been handing out unused food for those in need, free of charge.
Large & International Companies - Acts of Kindness
Some supermarkets have created an NHS hour after seeing pictures of exhausted NHS and emergency staff going to the supermarket after a long shift, only to find empty shelves. Waitrose, however, have gone one step further and are now allocating food aside for our heroic NHS workers.
Sky is adding 10GB of data to everyone’s allowance to help the nation who are now staying at home and spending more time on the internet.
BP are giving free fuel to the emergency services at all of their petrol stations across the UK.
The healthy food recipe box company ‘Mindful Chef’ are offering 30% off their weekly boxes to NHS staff so they don’t have to worry about going to supermarkets with empty shelves.
Amazon has released 40 new children’s shows that can be streamed free of charge. They are also giving away a free trial of the kids app ‘Amazon Kids Unlimited Service’ featuring free books, educational apps, movies and games to keep the kids occupied.
NCP are offering free parking for all NHS workers.
Glastonbury have donated medical supplies and medical staff to the NHS that were due to be used at this years 50th annual festival.
Subway have been offering free food to the police.
Football stadiums including Aston Villa, Brighton and Fulham donated all their food (from cancelled matches) to local homeless charities and shelters.
A number of iconic landmarks and museums around the world are now offering virtual tours with the help of digital technology, so you can check out the incredible hotspots without needing to leave your sofa. Virtual tours include the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu and even the Louvre Museum in Paris.
We think it's a great way of getting a taste of these landmarks and offer inspiration for planning your next trip away.
Spreading love, health and smiles
At a time when mental health is all so important for every one of us right now, we felt that it was about time we reflected on the positives and switch off from negative stories in the media. These are just a few of many inspirational stories and acts of kindness that we are seeing across the UK and world at the moment.
Mentalhealth.org.uk have listed some great tips for how you we can all get involved in random acts of kindness, most of which can be done from the comfort if your home:
Get involved with random acts of kindness
• Call a friend that you haven’t spoken to for a while
• Tell a family member how much you love and appreciate them
• Make a cup of tea for someone you live with
• Arrange to have a cup of tea and virtual catch up with someone you know
• Help with a household chore at home
• Arrange to watch a film at the same time as a friend and video call
• Tell someone you know that you are proud of them
• Tell someone you know why you are thankful for them
• Send a motivational text to a friend who is struggling
• Send someone you know a joke to cheer them up
• Send someone you know a picture of a cute animal
• Send an inspirational quote to a friend
• Send an interesting article to a friend
• Contact someone you haven’t seen in a while and arrange a phone catch up
• Spend time playing with your pet
• Reach out to call a friend, family member or neighbour who is experiencing loneliness or self-isolation
• Donate to a charity
• Lend your ear – call a colleague and ask how they’re finding the change in routine
• Give praise to your colleague for something they’ve done well
• Arrange to have a video lunch with a colleague
• Send an inspirational story of kindness people around the world are doing for others to someone you know
• Donate to foodbanks
• Offer to skill share with a friend via video call - you could teach guitar, dance etc.
• Offer support to vulnerable neighbours
• Offer to send someone a takeaway or a meal
Try one of these today and let’s focus on the good. Please share this post and spread some positivity with our friends and family.
If you have seen some inspiration acts of kindness in your communities, please comment and tag them to show your thanks.