From the UK to Australia, people are distributing postcards offering practical help to people in need as a result of self-isolating due to the coronavirus
After reading about the coronavirus pandemic in the media, Cornwall-based lecturer Becky Wass wanted to try to shrug off a growing sense of helplessness. She designed a simple postcard for people to drop through the letterboxes of anyone who may be in need of help – and the simple yet powerful idea has already gone global.
The design, which is available to download for free online, reads: “Hello! If you are self-isolating, I can help”, with tick box options for help with picking up shopping, posting mail, getting hold of urgent supplies and offering “a friendly phone call”.
Kindhearted volunteers can print off the postcards, write their name, address and phone number and distribute them among their neighbours to find out what help is needed.
Wass, who is reportedly an associate lecturer in creative advertising at Falmouth University, told Cornwall Live: “I was talking to my husband John about how the news was quite hard-hitting and there wasn’t much we could actually do to make a positive difference.
“If just one person feels less lonely or isolated when faced with this pandemic, then I’ll feel better about it. Coronavirus is scary. Let’s make kindness go viral.”
The idea has already been adopted across the UK and as far as Australia, with people sharing the cards using the hashtag #viralkindness. One woman, Mahsa Alimardani, tweeted: “This #viralkindness movement is happening in my London neighborhood for those self-isolating, and I’m finally starting to believe there might be hope for 2020.”
The postcards also include a health warning, urging anybody distributing them to avoid physical contact with neighbours and to leave items on their doorstep rather than stepping inside.
Meanwhile, groups in areas including London and Cornwall have banded together to get supplies to people who are unable to leave their homes. Josh St John James, 17, who is from Kingston in London, set up the Kingston Volunteer Taskforce to recruit and organise young people to volunteer. “I read that someone of our age is more likely to win the lottery than die from coronavirus so it’s only right that we help out,” he told the BBC.
Main image: Some older people and those with pre-existing health conditions are choosing to self-isolate in a bid to avoid the Covid-19 virus. The #viralkindness campaign is an effort to help them feel less alone. Credit: Cade Martin