You don’t have to have contact with covid-19 to notice changes in your current life.
Normal shopping is disrupted. People are being sent home from abroad. Football games and gatherings have been cancelled. Boris Johnson has just announced new measures and will shortly advise or even force those over 70 to self-isolate.
There is a wide range of attitudes towards the situation ranging from paranoia to denial. Regardless of where reality sits on that scale, people are being affected, and the old and vulnerable in our community are going to be the people least able to help their situation because:
- The consequences of contracting the virus are higher so they will probably be wanting to take greater precautions.
- They are generally less mobile and unable to persist at shopping to get essentials that are running out constantly.
Those self isolating are unable to do their own shopping so will also need assistance regardless of their age or vulnerability.
Given the above, I am sure that those feeling most at risk of running out of essentials would be relieved to know that there are people willing to help out. I know people are willing to help and the Parish Council are putting together a list of volunteers, which is great. I would like to go further and set up a mechanism to coordinate volunteers and – more importantly to give those in need a simple way of asking for help. I am not saying i will succeed but I’ll try.
If the control measures continue to increase, as expected, it will not be long before those people mentioned above are massively compromised when it comes to looking after themselves. I think it is important to get something in place so that we are ready to support our neighbours. Maybe this seems like over-reaction but there is no harm in being ready.
Two simple reasons:
- I have the technical ability to help out
- I have a parent in the above group and if I become unable to help in person, at least I can help coordinate others.
What to do?
The first stage is to find out the details of people willing to help and those who need assistance so I have set up a way to coordinate helpers and those in need.
If you are willing to offer assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include anything you feel relevant. Maybe caveats to your offer, available timings or times of day, what you are willing to do. We will probably at some time need a contact number.
If you feel that you could use assistance, please email email@example.com.
What about my privacy?
Privacy is very important and I will not share information unless permission is given beforehand. It will be necessary to share information to a certain degree, but I will ask permission as things develop and people can always drop out before anything is shared.
What is the next stage?
I want the helpers to be involved in shaping this, so when I know who is willing to help, I will see who wants to help coordinate and who wants to just help out when asked. I am hoping that others will access the system I have set up, so I will show them how to do so.
We then need to coordinate the best way to allow everyone to seek help via various methods.
For now – please use the email addresses above to register support.