We’re being told to stay home, self-isolate, and practise social distancing in an effort to flatten the curve lessen the number of COVID-19 cases in Australia.
Commencing today, the states of New South Wales and Victoria will operate in lockdown, and this will see any non-essential services close. Supermarkets, banks, petrol stations, pharmacies and schools will remain open, and trips to these services should only be carried out out of necessity.
While these unprecedented times have been unsettling for everyone, the prospect of popping to the shops to carry out the weekly shop can feel particularly daunting for the elderly, disabled or the immune-compromised.
We’ve seen some ugly acts of selfishness in this time (of course we’re talking about toilet paper hoarding), but we’ve seen some truly beautiful and heartwarming acts of compassion, too. And going forward, we want to see and feel more of the latter.
Political activist group GetUp has launched a new national #ViralKindness hub to help coordinate the community care groups springing up across the country to support people in need and in self-isolation during the coronavirus crisis.
Anyone in Australia who is eager to lend a hand can start a new community care group, add an existing group, or find a local group in the area. With these tools for connection, people in self-isolation are able to quickly find someone local who can help them get what they need — be it shopping for groceries, picking up medicine, or simply offering verbal support.
As part of the initiative, the group has also created a downloadable #ViralKindness postcard. Someone in the area with the capacity and time to help can simply fill it out and drop the card in the letterboxes of neighbours.
“Amidst the fear and uncertainty, we are inspired by the growing number of local community groups coming together to spread kindness,” says GetUp’s national director Paul Oosting.
“The #ViralKindness hub connects like-minded people who want to start a local group. By crowdsourcing what is already working well, anyone can get fast, reliable advice about helping people who are self-isolating.
“We don’t know how long this crisis will last, but we do know that people power will have an important part to play, and we are right behind the community.
A recent survey from GetUp found that members wanted to spread kindness, and not fear, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Inspired by the heartwarming viral kindness postcard in the UK, and the Australian community groups who followed suit, we saw a need to coordinate the growing community response and we jumped to action.”
Head over to the #ViralKindness hub to print out your postcards and find out more about the initiative now.
Oosting says: “We’re safer apart but stronger together. We’ll be here as long as we’re needed.”
The current health crisis is evolving rapidly. If you suspect you or a family member has coronavirus you should call (not visit) your GP or ring the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.