While the numbers of COVID-19 victims constantly go up we can see also something else going up: Kindness. When Jacinda Arden, the Prime Minister of New Zealand announced on the 22nd of March that their country will go into isolation, she urged the people of her nation to “go home tonight and check on your neighbours, start a phone tree with your street, plan how you’ll stay in touch with one another. We will get through this together, but only if we stick together so please be strong and be kind.”
Be kind. These two words stuck with me since then. But not only with me. Think about the thousands who are applauding out of their windows to express their gratitude to doctors, nurses and social workers. How touched have we been when the Italian priest passed on his respirator to a younger person who lived, whereas he did not make it. At the start of the pandemic every country was doing what they though best for their own nation – seemingly leaving Italy on their own. Now things seemed to be slowly changing. The first patients in serious conditions have been flown out to other countries. Kindness does not and should not end at borders – as the virus will not stop their either.
Be kind. Not only in the crowd, but also with one another. There is no need to attack someone verbally at the supermarket who speaks Italian, telling him he should go back home to his country. And there is no need to snatch just another kilo of pasta away just to add it to the already existing collection at home.
Be kind. This seems to be also the mantra for a lot of companies. 22% of Germans* believe that companies should show that they are tackling the crisis head-on and demonstrate that it can be fought. 68% even say that companies need to be helpful and 64% say they should inform. Companies should support their employees and be generous to their customers. Act empathic, creative and be generous.
Companies start to form new alliances to help each other out: Bolt is delivering groceries for Miracle Foods, Cool is providing free rides to volunteers manning the COVID-19 helpline, but also introduced a delivery service to help companies or individuals to book same-day deliveries. GoTo announced a collaboration with the Malta Red Cross Society to provide the organisation with four vehicles to enable increased mobility for its team – to name a few examples.
In a crisis like this we should not forget the human factor. Give hope. React reasonable. Be kind.
*COVID-19 Monitor published by Kantar
Written by Nicoletta Moss
Images: GoTo Malta; Cool Ride-Pooling