United Against COVID-19
We have all been impacted by COVID-19 and we are called to unite to get through this together: each of us has a role to play.
What is being asked of us?
First and foremost we are being asked to stay at home to reduce the case numbers, and hence the burden on the NHS. So, although we really do want to go out there and help, let’s first keep this in mind. We have also been asked to volunteer, and there are many ways for us to do so.
Once restrictions of quarantine are lifted, we should all think about how best we can help and understand where help is needed.
We have compiled a list of 9 things that you can do. We ask you to commit to taking action to the benefit of your local community. If you're already helping, well done - please tell us so we can share your story and inspire others to join!
Resources on COVID-19
We are curating a page with information on COVID-19 from official sources.
Ask #1: Stay at home
By staying at home you help reduce the chance of catching & spreading the disease.
Per the official UK government guidelines, the core recommendation is that you should only leave the house for very limited purposes:
Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
One form of exercise a day e.g. a run, walk or cycle - alone or with members of your household
Any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
Travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home
Ask #2: Befriend an elderly resident (virtually)
The elderly are disproportionately vulnerable to coronavirus, and even before the pandemic, were much more likely to experience loneliness and isolation. There are several UK organisations which can help matchmake volunteers with elderly people looking for social connection, including https://www.thesilverline.org.uk/ and https://www.ageuk.org.uk/.
Ask #3: Help with delivery of groceries and prescriptions to vulnerable people
If you have access to transportation, there are opportunities to register as an official volunteer to help deliver essential groceries and prescriptions to those who would find it difficult to physically access a supermarket at the moment. For example, https://www.goodsamapp.org/NHS.
Ask #4: Donate time and resources to a local organisation
The London Global Shapers Hub has started compiling a list of volunteer organisations that one can sign up to and we welcome other suggestions!
In a period where many people are earning far less than normal, issues of food security are becoming even more serious. The Trussell Trust has a comprehensive list of ways that one might be able to donate cash or other resources to help ensure that the most vulnerable in our society are able to access enough food.
Ask #5: Stop the spread of misinformation
Following trustworthy and credible health advice is vital as we collectively work to fight coronavirus. With misleading coronavirus advice going viral in many social media feeds, it is therefore important that we think and check the facts before we share them - whether that is through private messaging channels or public posts. We’ve outlined some steps you can take to help stop the spread of misinformation:
Refer to the information and advice provided by public health bodies, including the NHS and World Health Organisation - choose to share the updates they provide on the information centres set up on social media platforms over posts from uncredited sources
Read the BBC News Advice for a range of steps you can take to identify fake news
Check out UK’s independent fact-checking organisation ‘Full Fact’, which features Coronavirus mythbusters on their website
Ask #6: Support those who are financially suffering the most
The situation for many small and medium businesses in the UK is dire, with more than a fifth at high risk of going out of business in Q2 2020. There are a number of sites which allow you to support your local businesses through this challenging period:
Tell those you know who own a business about the government support available. Tell any friends who have been fired due to COVID-19 that their employer can rehire and cover 80% of their salary through Gov. grants.
Ask #7: Check in on your neighbours and reach out to people who live on their own
Many of the most uplifting stories during this period have come from neighbours supporting each other. Whether it’s engaging via neighbourhood Facebook and Whatsapp groups, or checking out mutual aid resources at https://covidmutualaid.org/ there are plenty of opportunities to be a helpful neighbour.
Ask #8: Stay in touch with friends and colleagues
Social distancing is difficult for many of us because of an inability to see loved ones. Luckily in today’s modern technology world, there are a number of platforms that have sprung up (e.g. Google Hangouts, Zoom, Facetime) to help support virtual interactions.
Some potential ideas for virtual social activities include:
Virtual live stream events e.g. https://www.socialdistancingfestival.com/live-streams
Virtual museum/gallery tours e.g. https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours
Ask #9: Take care of yourself
One may feel lonely during this time. Reach out to friends, family or colleagues during this period or reach out to a support organisation. If you don't know who to reach out to, let us know and we will try and help!
Exercise! Create a home workout routine and stand up for a few mins every hour or check out the free exercise classes on instagram that many gyms and studios offer. Why not try something new?
Daily Chi Kung: 15 minutes stress busting exercises
Yoga online classes: practice yoga at home
Daily physical classes: P.E. With Joe (seems to be very popular!)
Weekly global dance sessions: Dance with Ryan Heffington
It is very important to guard your energy, vitality and general mental wellbeing. Due to staying at home we may either be alone in a confined space, or sharing our space with others.
Our main recommendation is for you to create some space around you:
Reduce your phone use, especially before bedtime, so that you ensure you have a good sleep
Don't spend hours reading news
If you are in need of urgent mental health support for more serious matters please refer to the following NHS resources:
If you're interested in picking up meditation as a technique to reduce stress, worry, anxiety, then we recommend you have a look at the following resources:
The Art of Seclusion: meditation classes, guided meditations & discourses on Stillness & Loving Kindness meditation, specifically aimed at the current situation
The Art of Meditation : this is for those of you who have tried meditation before and want to start developing a good practice. We recommend you start with the Stillness Program
The content on this page is a ‘live’ compilation of resources. If you have any other suggestions, please get in touch directly through our website!