Introduction

The coronavirus has completed turned many students’ lives upside down. From having to leave university, to cancelling exams, to being away from others for an extended period of time, it is an extremely difficult time for students. In this guide, we hope to spread some positivity, as well as giving you some tips on how to deal with different aspects of the lockdown. 

Contents:

  1. Mental Health
  2. How to Stay Healthy
  3. Coronavirus and Student Jobs
  4. Coronavirus and Student Accommodation
  5. Things to do at Home during Lockdown
  6. Good News Stories

Click the links above for the dedicated guides, or read our entire student coronavirus guide below.

 

How could the coronavirus impact my mental health?

Covid-19 is causing a number of issues, but one of its biggest problems is the mental health effects it can have. Whether you are self-isolating because you have shown symptoms, or you are simply stuck at home due to university/work closures, people will probably be more isolated over the next few weeks than they have been in years. The government is now advising that we stop all but essential social contact, something which many people will find difficult.

Social isolation has a negative impact on mental and physical health. It increases loneliness, which in turn can lead to depression and other mental health issues. Loneliness can also lead to physical health issues, with experts suggesting it can increase the chance of earlier death by 26%. Evidently, Covid-19 has the potential for significant health problems. The outbreak has been termed a “social recession” due to its profound impact on society, comparable to any economic recession in terms of scope and scale. Apart from loneliness and depression, the outbreak could increase anxiety and stress for some people. It is understandable for people to be stressed about loved ones, worried about their own health, or concerned about the uncertainty surrounding exams, university life, and potential lockdowns. In this guide, we will try to give some tips on how to manage stress and anxiety caused by Covid-19.

 

What are the students saying?

Many students we asked have expressed their concerns and worries surrounding the current outbreak. Here are some of their statements which might be relatable for you:

  1. It has all happened so quickly. Classes are now all online, there are queues in supermarkets, and the government has started to cancel everything. I mean, last week everything seemed normal, but now there is panic as we did think it would be so real.
  2. I’m worried because of my work. For now my work is open, and working in a shopping centre is risky due to the fact that there are more crowds.  On the university side, they have already closed it, but it is more complicated for students now. We are not used to studying online or taking exams on the computer. I don’t like it.
  3. I’m feeling stuck, and anxious about my parents! I just want to go back to my country and be safe in my house. I feel like I can’t go outside because I’m afraid to get the virus. I’m also concerned about the shopping, it’s really annoying because you can’t find want you want. People just buy a lot for themselves and don’t care about others…

We have seen so many responses similar to this. With universities shutting down, it is a really difficult time for many students, who are anxious about the future and the uncertainty currently surrounding their studies. If you feel this way, don’t worry. It is a normal reaction, so don’t feel like you are alone.

 

How do I maintain my mental health during the outbreak?

There are a number of things you can do to keep your mental health in check:

 

Keep active

 

Being stuck inside can be negative for your physical and mental health. Of course, if your university or work is cancelled, then you will be walking much less than normal. But it is not just your physical health that will take a hit. In fact, keeping active has been proven to have a significant impact on mental health. People who are active are less stressed (on average) than people who are inactive. Similarly, people who are active have more positive moods, and have a greater self-esteem, than those who are not.

There are many ways to keep active during the Covid-19 outbreak. Running around the garden / local park, walking to the shops, or cycling around town are all easy options. Even if you are inside, you can do yoga exercises, planks, or lunges. Here is a guide for 10 easy exercises you can do whilst inside. The NHS website also has a fun 10 minute cardio website you can do, so check it out here.

 

Eat a Balanced Diet

 

Students may find it difficult to eat a balanced diet at the best of times, and with the shops having limited supplies this could be even trickier. However, it is now more important than ever to eat a balanced diet, particularly to improve our mental health! Studies have found that eating more vegetables, nuts, grains, and fish can lead to a reduction in depression. Eating healthy should also be able to help your immune system stay strong, something which is important to fight off the spread of a virus. Here are 5 vitamins you should make sure you are eating. With the right food in your system, you will be mentally and physically ready to support your body over the next few months.

 

Keep in touch with people

 

One of the worst things you can do during a period of isolation is not talk to anyone.
Whilst it may be difficult to physically see people, you can still keep in touch with friends and family via social media or telephone. Having a video call with friends/family is particularly beneficial, as visual social interaction has a positive impact on mental health. Ideally, you should try not to live alone during this period. Many students have moved back to live with their families, and this is something that you should strongly consider if you haven’t already. If not family, then try to stay with friends, or at least see them regularly. Social interaction is vitally important to the mental health of students, and you should try to keep this up at least to a small extent.

Keeping in touch with people is one thing, but it is also important to talk about your feelings. If you are particularly anxious or feeling down, then talking to other people is a great way to feel better. You will soon find out that others feel the same as you, and being able to laugh with each-other, or simply talk through your problems with someone else, is a fantastic way to improve your mental wellbeing.

 

Take a Break from the News

 

Sometimes the news can be overwhelming, particularly when it comes to Covid-19. For many people, hearing ‘more deaths’ and other similar phrases can be upsetting. Particularly if you are watching the news a lot, people can start to feel anxious or depressed. You should try to limit your time spent reading / watching the news, and spend more time doing fun, relaxing, or practical things instead. Of course the news is important, but don’t let it overtake your life. Similarly, make sure you don’t listen to fake news. Certain newspapers, and particularly social media stories, can exaggerate the facts. Only get your news from reliable sources, such as the BBC or The Guardian, and this will help to ensure you are getting facts, rather than fiction.

 

The Good News

If you are doing all these things, then it is likely you will be feeling much better. If not, then perhaps engaging in mindfulness or meditation could help you to relax. Whatever works for you, make sure you keep it up, and your mental health will likely improve dramatically. Looking on the bright side, the coronavirus actually gives you a chance to relax and engage in self-care much more frequently than normal. A lack of work, university life, and social gatherings gives you much more time in your day to relax and really improve your mental health. When the outbreak dies down in a few weeks, you should be much more mentally rested to tackle your busy student life!


 

HOW TO STAY HEALTHY IN THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

 
 

This guide has been created using research from Harvard University and the NHS. Make sure you receive all your Covid-19 news from reliable sources!

 

How does the coronavirus spread?

The coronavirus spreads through person to person contact. This usually happens when people are in contact with one another. Droplets from an infected person can be released when they sneeze or cough, and if this lands near the mouth, eyes, or nose of another person, it can possibly cause infection to occur.

Covid-19 also spreads through contact with infected surfaces. If someone coughs onto their hands, then touches an object (such as a train seat), and then another person touches that object and then touches their face, the virus can be spread. That is why it is so important to consistently wash your hands, and avoid contact with surfaces. It is thought the virus can remain on surfaces for a few hours, so great care must be taken when going outside.

 

How do I know if I have the virus?

  • Check your temperature. Even if you feel hot to touch your chest or back, this is potentially a sign of coronavirus.
  • Do you have a cough? If you have a new, continuous cough (3 or more coughing episodes within 24 hours), then this is another
    symptom.
  • It is impossible to know for certain whether or not you have coronavirus unless you get tested. However, the health service recommends people with symptoms stay at home and self-isolate, as testing kits are difficult to get during this busy time.
  • If you think you have symptoms, visit the NHS website and go through their online service. You may have to call 111.
  • Only if your symptoms get worse should you call the doctors. Do NOT go to the doctors / hospital without calling.

 

How can I protect myself from COVID-19?

  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
  • Stay home if you don’t feel well
  • Clean surfaces regularly with alcohol-based spray or wipe.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap.
  • Cough into a tissue or your elbow.

 

How to stay healthy in general?

It is important you maintain a strong immune system in order to reduce your risks of catching Coronavirus. Here are some strategies you can follow to maintain a healthy immune system:

  • Keep relaxed and avoid stress.
  • Eat lots of fruit and vegetables.
  • Take vitamins if you are not getting enough.
  • Maintain a healthy weight through exercise and diet.
  • Control your blood pressure.
  • Reduce the amount of alcohol you consume
  • Try to get 8 hours sleep.

 

How do I self-isolate?

The most important thing to do if you are sick is to stay at home. This is called ‘self-isolating’. By staying away from other people, you can help stop the spread of the virus throughout society:

  • If you have the symptoms of Covid-19 (dry cough or high temperature), you need to call the doctors and tell them you may have the virus. They will ask you a series of questions, and give you advice as to the next steps to take. Do not simply go to the doctors, as you could infect other people!
  • Try to avoid public transport. If you need to travel anywhere, take a car or walk.
  • You should not go to work or university. You must stay at home and rest. Even public areas (such as parks or shopping centres) should be avoided.
  • If you live with other people, try to stay away from them as best you can. If possible, use a separate bathroom.
  • If you live with other people, try to stay away from them as best you can. If possible, use a separate bathroom. You should also avoid sharing personal items such as dishes or towels. After using these items, make sure to wash them well. Similarly, keep surfaces very clean, and other highly-touched areas such as desks and tables.
  • You need to keep your hands as clean as possible. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. After going outside, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly. If you don’t have soap and water, use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

 

The Good News

Even if you have symptoms of coronavirus, there is no need to panic. Experts suggest the death rate is less than 1%. The reason for the higher figures (2-3%), is that most cases are not being recorded, as people are simply staying at home and self-isolating. However, for students, the death rate is even smaller.

Young people generally have healthier immune systems and lungs compared to elderly people. As such, the death rate of coronavirus for young people is basically 0%. The youngest person to die in the UK has been 45, and sadly also had Motor Neurone Disease. The youngest person to die in Europe was 21, but they tragically had leukaemia as well.

If you do not have a serious underlying health condition, the chance of a young (or even middle-aged) person dying is almost 0.

In fact, for 80% of cases, symptoms will be very minor. Many people have reported symptoms being less severe than a normal winter flu. So, even if you do get sick, the chance of thing getting seriously bad are very low.


 

THE IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS ON STUDENT JOBS

 
 
 

How will the Coronavirus impact my student job?

Many students have a job whilst at university. Around 59% of students do some sort of paid work whilst they are studying, including 45% with a part-time job and 13% with a full-time job. Many of these jobs are in hospitality, such as restaurants, or retail, such as shop assistants. Unfortunately, these are some of the sectors which have been hardest hit by Covid-19. Many restaurants and bars are closing, and employees are worried about what this could mean for their pay.

 

Do I still get paid?

If you are on a contract, and your place of work closes, you should still be paid (according to the ACAS). You may be asked to take your annual leave during this time (if you are entitled to it), but the employer must give you appropriate notice before enforcing annual leave. The exception to this is if you have a ‘lay off’ clause in your contract, which would allow the employer to tell you to stay off work without pay. Even if there is a ‘lay off’ clause, you should still be given five days guaranteed pay. Overall, make sure you check your contract to find out what you are entitled to. Most students we have spoken to are still being paid, despite the fact that their work is closed.

 

What about Zero-Hours Contract?

Unfortunately, a zero hours contract means you probably won’t be entitled to pay. This is something that we know many students are suffering from. Please make sure you are financially prepared if you are laid off on a zero hours contract. Check out our student money guide if you need help saving money during this time, or visit one of the great money saving websites such as Save the Student.

 

Do I get paid if I am sick or self-isolating?

If you are sick, you should be entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP) of £94.25 / week. Similarly, if you are potentially sick / required to self-isolate for 14 days, you will also be entitled to statutory sick pay. However, the requirement for SSP is that you earn at least £118 / week. If you earn above this, you should be entitled to SSP, even if you are on a zero hours contract.

Make sure you know your rights, particularly with self-isolation. If you tell the employer you have followed NHS 111 advice and are self-isolating for 14 days, this should entitle you to SSP if you are eligible.

 

The Good News

To summarise, most students who are in a part-time job should still be paid their entire salary if their workplace shuts down. If you have a ‘lay off’ clause, you should still be paid for five full days. If you are self-isolating or are ill and cannot go to work, then you should still be paid sick pay if eligible.

 

How has the Coronavirus impacted the UK Graduate Job Market?

The UK job market has been significantly impacted by Covid-19. With offices closing down, many employers are halting their interview process until the uncertainty subsides. But what does this mean for graduate students looking for a job?

 

What are employers doing?

Many companies appear to be closing their offices for the foreseeable future, with firms such as Deloitte telling all staff to work remotely. The government is introducing stricter measures to attempt to combat the virus, meaning more office closures are likely in the coming weeks.

This could cause issues with recruitment. Video interviews are still taking place, but most face-to-face interviews have stopped. Unfortunately, many employers will want to meet you in person before offering the job. From our research, recent graduates have seen their interviews put on hold for a few weeks until the crisis is over. Other candidates have found employers simply refusing to recruit until the uncertainty has finished.

If you are a graduate looking for a job, or an undergraduate wanting an internship or job for next year, then there is no need to panic. The lack of employment opportunities will only be a short-term issue. In fact, when the Covid-19 pandemic is over, the UK job market will likely boom, with thousands of new job openings becoming available.

 

What are students doing?

Whilst employers are halting recruitment, job-seekers are also applying to jobs much less frequently. Compared to last year, there were 47% less job applications in February. Many candidates do not want to apply to jobs because of the uncertainty. Similarly, many international students have returned to their home countries, meaning there are bound to be less applications with a large proportion of students no longer in the UK.

 

Can we still apply for jobs?

Yes! As one student says: “I recently received an offer to interview for an investment consultancy position. I was surprised because I didn’t think interviews would be happening in the current climate. The interview is due to take place over Google Hangouts on Monday. I’ll let you know how it goes!”.

Evidently, job offers are still being made, and interviews are still taking place. So if you are looking for a job, there are definitely options out there. The important thing is not to worry about rejections. Most people have to go through hundreds of applications and interviews before they receive a graduate job offer. So if you are currently applying, don’t feel stressed about finding a job immediately. Take your time, and the jobs will come eventually!

 

The Good News

In these fairly dark times, it’s always good to look for the positives. For students looking for jobs, the coronavirus has certainly done one thing: Reduced the pressure. Your friends and family cannot blame you for not having a job during this period, most of them don’t even think companies are still hiring. If you cannot secure a graduate job or internship for next year, everyone will understand. In fact, there is much less pressure than in normal years, when some people feel they ‘have’ to secure a job before they graduate. Nowadays, everyone knows that the job market is not operating normally, meaning there is less pressure to find a job!

So keep on looking, and if you find a job then that’s amazing. But if not, don’t worry, and wait for the employment boom in a few months when the pandemic is over.


STUDENT ACCOMMODATION DURING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

 
This article is brought to you in collaboration with Unihomes.
 

It is a strange time for anyone currently living in university halls or student accommodation. There have been some disturbing reports of student halls asking students to leave, such as in Cambridge, and many students have already voluntarily left to be with their families. However, lots of students are still in the university accommodation. We hope this guide will help ease your mind, and keep you updated on the things you should be doing to stay safe in student accommodation.

 

Hygiene

Obviously, you should be following the advice from the NHS surrounding hygiene. This includes avoiding unnecessary contact, washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap or hand gel, and self-isolating if you have a dry cough or fever. On the other hand, living in student accommodation is quite different to normal accommodation, and there are some extra precautions you should be taking due to the close contact you probably have with other people in your building.

The COVID-19 virus spreads quickly, and does so by people with the virus coughing or exhaling the virus onto nearby surfaces. From this, people can then quickly become infected by touching these areas. Here are some quick and easy tips to reduce your risk of infection:

  • Clean surfaces down every time you use them, and avoid touching anything until they’re spick and span
  • Use separate towels from everyone in your house, and have a dedicated towel for hand drying

In shared accommodation it’s natural for things to get a bit messy. Everyone can be guilty for sometimes not doing ‘their bit’, so at a time like this, it’s critical to stay on top of things.

 

Housemates

For some of us, the thought of being stuck in a house with our housemates for a few weeks is enough to drive us insane. If someone hasn’t been cleaning their dishes, or pulling their weight with cleaning, the idea of being cooped up together can give anyone cabin fever.

The government has given us these tips when it comes to distancing yourself from housemates:

  • Avoid sleeping in a common area during the 14-day period and don’t share a bed with others.
  • Keep the time you spend in shared places to a minimum, like bathrooms, sitting rooms and kitchens. Be sure to well ventilate all your rooms.
  • For the kitchen-sharers amongst you, try not to cook at the same time and take your dinners into your bedrooms.

It doesn’t matter if you’re living with your best mates, being stuck with them for a couple of weeks can be a challenge. Staying strong, sticking together and helping each other as much as possible will give you the best chance of not feeling cramped up inside

 

Mental Health

Make sure you check out our detailed mental health guide to ensure that you are staying mentally well during the crisis. But here are a few specific tips for those of you staying in student accommodation.

Although self-isolation restricts non-essential travel, getting fresh air and exercise will help keep you sane. Exercise helps our bodies release any tension, so if you have the option to get outside and move, make sure you take advantage of it as much as possible. Maybe walk with a flatmate around your local area, even simply going to the shops is a good way to stay mentally fit and healthy.

Being stuck inside all day will no doubt impact your mental health, regardless of whether you already suffer from any issues. Make sure you take time out every day to chat with your flatmate or neighbours. Many students we have spoken to say that have become ‘closer’ with their flatmates because of the virus, as they are forced to spend much more time together!

 

Money

If rent payments are on your mind, then don’t worry too much straight away. The government have announced some emergency legislation that will protect renters from eviction for 3 months. This could come in the form of rent breaks, or special loans. If you think you will have trouble paying rent, make sure to speak to your landlord or accommodation provider to see what options are available for you.

Surviving on a student budget can be hard enough, without this extra hassle. Tesco’s basic noodles, nights out, rent, bills, books, transport and everything else normally comes into a pretty strict budget plan. However, surviving self-isolation might actually save you a few pennies, as nights out remain off the table. As restaurants, bars, pubs and other businesses close down, it would be hard not to worry about your income. Having that extra finance to help with bills, food and general living is always useful. Despite times getting harder, sites like UniDays continue to offer discounts.

 

Studying

Many unis across the country have already closed their doors, so everyone can take a nice breather from lectures and seminars. Other unis have stopped all lab work, face-to-face tutorials and group work. Some tutors will be giving their lectures virtually, and access to campus material will still be available. But, for those with exams, essays or dissertations coming up, and potentially no libraries to study in, how can you stay motivated to study?

The biggest trick is to NOT procrastinate! With all the time at home, it would be easy to pop on Netflix and think ‘I’ll do it later’. However, at some point things will go back to normal, so staying on top of your studies is vital. Create a timetable to ensure you have dedicated time to study, as this will give you a good head start (and keep you away from binge watching…)

Make sure you stay up-to-date with your classmates. Everyone has a different way of studying, but it will give you a good opportunity to bounce ideas off each other and knuckle down.

The idea of not having to go into uni or work for a few days might seem like an absolute dream: the pressure is off! But soon enough, you might feel like banging down the walls or pulling your hair out. At a time like this, the best thing you can do is follow the governments advice, stick together, and try to support everyone around you as much as possible.


 

THINGS TO DO AT HOME DURING THE CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN

 
 
 

Whilst in lockdown, it can be tough to think of things to do. For some students, it is the most boring time of their lives. However, thanks to the wonderful powers of the internet and digital technology, there are so many things you can be getting on with whilst under quarantine. Here are some of our favourite things you can do as a student whilst in lockdown.

 

Online Events

The events industry has not completed died since the UK went into lockdown, rather it has simply moved online. Online events are becoming more and more popular, and there are thousands of ways you can get involved.

Many events are being livestreamed on Twitch. This allows you to watch along with thousands of other people, and interact with the event hosts, all from the comfort of your own home. Our friends at Bongo’s Bingo, for example, are running their crazy bingo night every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 8pm. Check out their channel here.

Many of the event websites have also started promoting online events to their customers. To find out some of the best online events happening over the next week, check out Eventbrite’s dedicated online event page.

If official online events aren’t for you, then maybe make an unofficial one with your friends using House Party or Zoom. We know many people organising ‘pub quizzes’ with friends or extended family. Each household picks 5 questions to ask, whoever gets the most questions right wins! It is important to stay connected and not feel isolated, and using apps to make your own little events is a great way to stay positive during this difficult time.

 

Exercise

Current guidelines still allow you to leave the house once per day to do some exercise. This is important for both your mental and physical well-being, and can be your only chance to get some sunlight when you’re otherwise stuck indoors! However, there are many exercises you can do from inside your own home.

Joe Wicks has become infamous for his live ‘home workout’ sessions he runs every morning. Aimed at people of all ages, these are a great way to keep fit in a fun and relaxed environment. Many people are anxious about exercising in public, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic, and home workouts are a great way to fill the time. If you don’t enjoy video workouts, there are some simple written workouts available on the NHS website.

 

Student Work

It can be tricky to think about studying when we are living in such a strange time, but realistically now is the best chance you will have to do your university work. With so few distractions, now is the perfect time to finish those pieces of coursework you still have remaining.

Many people will have a dissertation coming up next year, and now is a great time to start thinking about what you are going to do, and even reading around your subject area to prepare for your dissertation topic. You can even preparing interview questions or writing your literature review if you have a topic in mind.

Many of us have had exams cancelled, but that doesn’t mean you cannot prepare for next term! You will likely already know your modules for next year, so reading some relevant articles and making some notes will be a great way to prepare. Think about it; if you work now (when there is nothing to do), you will be able to spend more time having fun when you are actually allowed to go outside!

We suggest making a work timetable to study for a few hours per day. Even if you work from 10am-12pm, and 2pm-4pm, that is a solid 4 hours per day where you can achieve quite a lot! There are many revision timetable templates you can find online, check some of them out here.

 

Learn a New Skill

Today is also a great time to learn something new! Learning new skills is a great way to pass the time, and can also help you develop as an individual. Cooking is one thing that every student should learn how to do before leaving university, and now is a great time to start. With many students currently living at home, there will be plenty of cooking equipment around the house. Check out some easy student recipes on our website to get you started.

If you are looking to learn a new skill, there are hundreds of great websites that can help you. One of the largest is Skillshare, and you can get 2 free months of Skillshare Premium right here. Skillshare has thousands of great classes to help teach you a variety of skills, from photography to video editing to public speaking. If you always wanted to learn a new skills, but have been putting it off due to a lack of time, well you now have no excuse! So get online and learn something new today.

 

Make Money

This is a difficult time financially for many students. In particular, many students have lost their part-time jobs, and are looking for additional ways to supplement their income. However, just because you can’t go outside, it doesn’t mean you can’t earn money! A hugely popular freelancing website right now is Fiverr, which anyone can sign-up to and start making money. You can do almost anything on this website, from making art, to writing CVs / cover letters, to transcribing audiobooks, to writing poems, or even running people’s social media pages. It can be difficult to get orders without any reviews, but everyone had to start somewhere! Simply sign up to the website, offer your services, and see what orders you can get!

There are many other ways you can make money. Try writing an e-book and self-publishing on Amazon, you would be surprised at how much you can make if your writing skills are good enough! Another useful money-maker is YouTube. Start vlogging your experiences, or creating videos on something you are passionate about. You need to have 4000 hours watch-time and 1000 subscribers before you start earning, but once you hit this then YouTube can become an amazing way to earn an income.

 

The Good News

Overall, thanks to the powers of the internet, there are thousands of things you can be doing whilst in lockdown. Remember to always remain positive; the lockdown will be over soon, and just think of what an amazing time we will all have when we can finally leave the house! However, by making the most of your time in lockdown, either by earning money, doing some work, or learning a new skill, you can make sure that you have not wasted any time, and have made a positive impact on your future despite these difficult circumstances.


 

GOOD NEWS STORIES FROM THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

 
 
 

Covid-19 has caused huge problems throughout the world, and sometimes it can be difficult to stay positive when surrounded by bad news. However, the coronavirus outbreak has also led to some positive news stories emerging, with a sense of community and togetherness being felt across the globe. It is important that these positive stories are highlighted as much as possible. Here are some pieces of good news to come from the coronavirus outbreak:

1. The Environment

Coronavirus has led to a significant fall in pollution levels across the world. Unsurprisingly, with lockdown being enforced, there are far fewer cars on the roads, factories have been shut down, and plane journeys cancelled. In India, nitrogen oxide levels have fallen by over 45% in Mumbai. In Venice, the water has completely cleared up, and many seabirds and fish have returned to the canals. Whilst the lockdown will likely see pollution levels return to normal, this has been a positive ‘rest’ for the environment, and hopefully will lead to most substantial environmental reform in the future.

2. Volunteering

The coronavirus has left many industries understaffed, particularly the NHS. However, there has been an overwhelming turnout through volunteering efforts. Over 500,000 people signed up to the government’s new volunteering scheme to help support the NHS. This includes people helping drive the ‘most vulnerable’ to health check-ups, help deliver food to those in need, and make phone calls to those in isolation. 12,000 retired NHS nurses staff have also volunteered to come out of retirement to help support the efforts. The country has shown an amazing level of cooperation and togetherness that has arguably not been seen since wartime, and this is definitely something we should all be proud of.

3. International Cooperation

It is not just our own country that has seen significant cooperation. Internationally, countries have been helping support each-other by delivering equipment to those who need it the most. France and Italy have been struggling more than most with the outbreak, and Germany offered to fly some of the patient’s of these countries back to Germany for treatment, in order to help support the Italian and French hospitals. China have also been offering donations, with Italy and the Philippines both receiving hundreds of thousands of masks and pieces of medical equipment to try contain the virus. It is positive to know that, in times of crisis, the entire world comes together to try to help the must vulnerable.

4. Clapping for our Carers

One of the more emotional tributes we have seen during the coronavirus has been the Clapping for our Carers movement. Held at 8pm in the UK on Thursdays, this event called for everyone to stand by their windows or balconies and clap, to show their appreciation for the NHS. This led to some emotional videos, many of which can be seen on YouTube. It is not known how often the movement will carry on for, but so-far the last couple of Thursdays have seen the Clapping for our Carers take place, so make sure to get involved. We’ve never seen so many people on their balconies around where we live – it was an incredible experience!

5. Virus Recovery Rate

The coronavirus has been devastating, but it is important to remember that the vast majority of people recover. Most experts believe the overall death rate is below 1%, and even for elderly people the majority will survive the virus. In fact, a 94 year old recently recovered from the virus in the UK. The death rate is far less than MERS (about 34%), SARS (about 11%), or Ebola (90%), though higher than the average seasonal flu (0.1%). Another positive outcome is that it does not affect children as much as adults. Most viruses are particularly dangerous for very young people, but the coronavirus is an exception, which at least is one positive statistic to come from the outbreak.

6. Wuhan Recovery

The epicentre of the outbreak, Wuhan (China), is starting to return to normal. The entire province was in lockdown for 2 months, but Chinese authorities have recently started lifting restrictions, helping life become slightly more normal for its residents. April 8th is the official date that Wuhan lifts its lockdown, and this will allow for planes and travel to fully resume. Families who were split up for 2 months can finally see each-other, people can return to their jobs, and life will slowly start to get better. This is important as it shows that recovery is possible. In fact, many Asian countries which were the worst hit when the outbreak first started, such as South Korea, have started to return to normal. Whilst this will not be for a few weeks in Europe, it is important to remember that things will get better, and we just have to try and stay positive until they do.

We hope you found this ‘good news guide’ useful, or at least refreshing when compared to all the negativity that currently exists in the media. Whilst it is important to stay updated on the news, make sure you take regular breaks from coronavirus news, as it can lead to anxiety or negativity for some people. Just remember, there is still good news out there, and amongst all this mayhem, positivity can still be found.