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Please enjoy reading Dr Comina's Thought for the Term

Posted on: 07/05/2020

Civic SpiritCivic logo

I’m sure many of us, looking back in future years, will reflect that March 2020 was probably one of the most challenging times of our lives. Beyond the obvious immediacy of catching COVID-19, and the varying degrees of illness it can cause, the toll on mental health has been highlighted as one of the most significant impacts of this pandemic. Indeed, on the BBC News pages this very morning, it is stated that over 50% of residents in the UK polled last week have experienced some degree of anxiety as a result of the coronavirus and lockdown.

The reason I introduce this week’s TFTT in this way is to offer an alternative and significant benefit of ‘civic spirit’. For me, the absolute highlight of the last few weeks has been seeing some of the ways in which people have responded positively to the COVID-19 emergency. Watching videos of Italian police officers singing songs to communities in the streets was truly uplifting. Reading on Facebook that a colleague has been sewing buttons onto headbands, to help medical staff wear PPE more comfortably, is inspiring. Hearing about Dr Khan’s anonymous delivery of a plant to her front door shows that there are people in the world who are completely selfless; who want to help others in their communities. Watching, live, Captain Tom walking his 100th lap of his garden at the age of 99, raising money for the NHS, really left me buzzing, and when the totals raised gradually built to beyond £30m, it reminds you that there is a huge amount of good still happening in the World. Just last week I was completely lifted and almost overwhelmed (in a good way) by taking part in the weekly clap for the NHS, and really felt part of my local community.

All of these examples of civic spirit have naturally had a direct consequence on the recipients concerned. They have also had an indirect positive consequence on me: some of those anxieties felt in March have been lifted; I am reassured and confident that we will get through this situation. All as a result of ‘civic spirit’. So please do, as both Dr Khan and Ms Littler have already suggested, share your own examples of civic spirit with us, as either recipient or giver. You don’t realise how much impact it can have.

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