In these times we need cooperation, solidarity and empathy more than ever

We are going through extraordinary times. The outbreak of coronavirus has put virtually everything else on hold and we need to respond.

It is obvious that we must act together, just like scientists have been doing since the outbreak. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said that “We are at a critical point in the global response to COVID-19 – we need everyone to get involved in this massive effort to keep the world safe.”

This is a health emergency. People should scrupulously observe restrictions imposed by the authorities where they live, and perhaps do even more because it may literally save lives.

This is also an economic crisis. Governments should, as much as they possibly can, step in and provide assistance to people who can’t work due to the outbreak, as well as offer all the help necessary to companies in order they remain afloat and keep jobs.

We also need simple acts of kindness in particular situations as they occur. We should make sure that the vulnerable can buy what they need. We should offer to help out if we can. We shall need a great deal of empathy and compassion.

We are beginning to act. Governments have woken up, finally, and are deliberating or offering rescue packages. Otherwise, there are initiatives such as the Solidarity Response Fund, which aims to “enable private individuals, corporations and institutions anywhere in the world to come together to directly contribute to global response efforts.” This is clearly the path to follow.

Once the worst is over, we must help others. China has set a good example by sending aid to Italy and Spain, even if there is more than a little PR involved. Liberal democracies can surely at least match China in this regard. 

We need collective action, cooperation, and a lot of solidarity. This is an unprecedented crisis in modern times. We must learn from it and emerge victorious, as better people and societies. 

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