These are testing times. Scary times. Unprecedented times in our generation. But look back in history and the people of the world have faced some extraordinary challenges and prevailed. In times of trouble, the greatest thing about us is our resilience, our resourcefulness and our capacity for generosity. So let’s look at how we can help each other through this Covid-19 situation.
Know your neighbours
In Wales, we have a strong and proud history of neighbourliness. In streets in Splott, Adamsdown, Tremorfa and Roath, people have been borrowing cups of sugar, sharing food, shovelling snow off the pavements and roads of our neighbours since forever. But that doesn’t mean that we know the situations of all of our neighbours. Why not go and knock on the door of the people in your street that you don’t know, introduce yourself (avoid a hug or a handshake, obvs) and find out if they need anything? We may not be able to do anything about the situation on a national or global level, but we sure can do something about things on our doorstep. Ask if they have a car; can they get to the shops? Do they have internet; can they order online? If not, you can pop to the shops for them; add their shopping list to yours, or you can complete an online shop for them. Got loads of toilet paper and they have none? Offer them a roll; it’ll ease their stress.
What about setting up a Whatsapp group for your street so that neighbours can easily share if they are running low on items and can’t make it to the shop? If you’re going on a shop-run, you can check if anyone needs anything. When you go door-to-door, you can ask people if they want to join. But have a backup plan for people who don’t have a smart phone. It’s a digital age, but not everyone is digital. Let’s keep old-school alive and well and keep the personal contact in our minds.
Share, share and share alike
Don’t hoard! It’s the worse thing we can do! If we don’t give in to the urge to stockpile when we don’t need to, there will be plenty to go round. Talk to family and friends and reassure them that they don’t need to go nuts in the pasta aisle; there’ll be another delivery along in a minute.
Not only do small in independent businesses need our support in times like this, they’re far more likely to have full shelves than the supermarkets, which are being cleaned out in mass-buying hysteria. Splott Market last Sunday had loads of loo roll, fruit, veg, meat, eggs, milk, not to mention masses of trinkets and toys to keep us entertained! Splott Lidl doesn’t have what you need because the shelves are empty? Head to Splott Road – the shelves are well-stocked.
Use online groups to co-ordinate
There’s already a facebook group to share information and co-ordinate community activity in Splott and Adamsdown. Use it to keep in touch and find out who may need help. Use it to offer your services. Give tips and advice and encourage community spirit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/633534294092813/about/
If you are in trouble, running low on something, feel anxious, stressed or having a panic, just drop me a line via Facebook or Twitter. If I can’t help, I bet I know someone who can, because our part of the world is full of incredible, amazing, community-minded people who have been in touch with Inksplott at one time or another and we can all draw on each other to get us through this thing.
If you have an idea on how we can help each other, send it in to Inksplott and I’ll add it to this article, or pop it on the Facebook group mentioned above. Our strength is in each other, so let’s pull together, work together and think of each other to make sure that everyone is OK, not only the people we know.
That’s all for now folks; I’ll update this page as the suggestions come in.