For those who have no choice – Stay Home and Be Kind

On the 15th of February this year (2020) the television presenter Caroline Flack took her own life aged forty.  She had had an altercation with her boyfriend that ended up involving the police and court, but the media ripped her to shreds and social media did its absolute worst without knowing the truth behind the event.

Caroline’s death, as with all suicides, are tragic but something good became of it.  The Be Kind hashtag and all that went with it.  People were realising, if they hadn’t before, that the media and social media are the cruellest.  Quite probably at their cruellest at that point because social media is a platform where people can hide behind handles that have nothing to do with their own names and believe that no one will ever know who they are and they become the vilest humans on this earth.  I’ve spoken before, and this is not about me, but I write under my own name on all media and I have been the brunt of these nameless trolls.  If I have something to say then I say it under my own name.

Be Kind was something nice.  The hashtag appeared in people’s social media profile pictures (mines is still there) and people were looking our for each other and sharing nice memes and there was a general sense that maybe her each wouldn’t be in vain.  That people were coming together to take the media to task, to maybe push for change in social media.  Our hearts broke her Caroline and everyone who had suffered with her.

It was a revelation until Coronavirus reared it’s ugly head.  Then the real personalities stepped forward.  Rather than being kind and looking out for each other, people went mad.  Sod everyone else, the toilet rolls must be stock piled, the shelves stripped.  Well, I don’t need to outline it all.  Be Kind had left the building, not just in the UK but in all supposed civilised countries.  Looking after people and being kind ceased to exist.  It seemed.

Within mere days it happened.  People snatching things off shelves.  People completely ignoring government advice because they thought they were better or wouldn’t catch Coronavirus.  Why is that? Did they believe they were too young? Too fit? Don’t gather in large groups = people gathering in large groups.  If supermarkets and the government hadn’t stood in what would have happened? The government had to basically shut down the nation and the supermarkets had to step in and tell people how to behave when shopping.  The severity of it didn’t really need to happen but it did.

Now, most of the population, I think, stayed at home and bided by the advice, yet still the selfish went out that first weekend and crowded beaches and public places.  You are not immune from this virus. No one is immune from this virus because it a completely new strain.  People will have it and not know, yes, depending of the potency of the strain they are affected by, but no one is immune. I find it so very disregarding of the general populace if a small-minded amount of people think it’s okay to flout government advice and therefore put everyone in danger.

Our Prime Minister (not alone) put us into a soft lockdown and we’ve one week to go before that is reviewed again.  Perhaps the selfish among us could take a look at themselves and not crowd public places this weekend and next because if the cases rise and the deaths rise then we’ll go into an even deeper lockdown.  No one wants that at all. We all want to be back with out loved ones.

I’ve got friends who are in bits because they haven’t hugged their grandchildren in weeks.  Or they haven’t hugged their parents or been able to visit a loved one in hospital or a care home.  They don’t want nor need a further lockdown.  None of us do.

Throughout this whole time we’ve seen people go out of their way to be helpful to neighbours and get them groceries, we’ve seen streets coming out and clapping at eight pm on a Thursday night to thank the NHS (and the other frontline workers), we’ve seen rainbows appearing in windows as a message hope and thanks.

Sadly, before I even started writing this, images appeared from Richmond, London of people thinking that Saturday seems to be some day off from restrictions and guidelines.  Lying around drinking, having picnics and meeting in large groups.  I do get it.  Many, many addresses in London have no garden area and it’s difficult but I’m sorry, you have to not gather in these groups.  Walk, by all means walk, have a beer if you need to, but walk and go home again.  No one wants you lying about on the grass when the majority of people are going to suffer because you couldn’t do what you were politely asked for a mere three weeks.

If we could maybe look back a few weeks and remember the words Be Kind.  Think about the people who can’t step outside because they have diagnosed issues which Coronavirus would complicate and are having to stay inside for days and weeks.  As an aside, not every ‘underlying issue’ is diagnosed.  Think about people who are staying home so that we can all get out and about sooner rather than later.