Strong people in strong communities come to the fore in troubled times.
Cornwall is certainly blessed with small but strong communities, the Cornish spirit epitomising the old saying ‘keep calm and carry on’, so it is time to focus on that community spirit and how people living in Cornwall are helping each other during the current health crisis.
For visitors and holiday-let owners, it is obviously disappointing that people are now being advised not to come to Cornwall for a while.
As the population here is relatively small, the health infrastructure is not in place to support visitors right now, and we are all sorry for that, but have to think of the greater good.
Alas, Cornwall is not immune to Coronavirus.
There is something special, however, about the way Cornish communities respond to a crisis, and we want to celebrate that here, and thank those who are doing so much for the others around them.
Take Bude on the north coast, noted for its family-friendliness, where the first impulse is always to help.
Recently in the town, the lovely staff at the central post office were quick to react to the thought of some of their valued but vulnerable elderly customers feeling fearful and socially isolated. The brilliant staff always go above and beyond, but this time they really surpassed themselves.
The Head Postmaster, Luke, announced to Bude residents that if any older customers were worried about coming out to the post office or needed anything at all, they could call and the post office staff would offer a home service / collection / delivery or do whatever they could.
It is this community focus which comes naturally in Cornwall. A Facebook group has quickly set up to support those in quarantine. As one lady who had received assistance wrote: “I was in tears yesterday and was slightly overwhelmed at the kindness being shown to me from complete strangers.”
Elsewhere in Bude, a shop called Wildwood, has started collecting essential donations for the local Food Bank.
It is not just Bude, of course. On the south coast, a lecturer from Falmouth University, Becky Wass, thought up the now widespread idea of printed ‘kindness’ postcards offering help to people who are self-isolating, be it dog walking, collecting some shopping or simply offering a friendly phone call. The shareable cards enable people to be kind to their neighbours in difficult times.
As Debbie Wass says, fear has spread quickly, so let’s try to spread kindness instead.
Throughout Cornwall, even more than usual, people are looking out for each other, doing what comes naturally, being kind and caring.
That’s what we love about it.
See you on the other side.