‘We are better together’
This seems to be a fitting phrase, at the moment. Collaboration and teamwork are at work everywhere. It is inspiring to observe. I feel very proud of my nation, a feeling that I am grateful for as the Brexit situation had divided the country somewhat – perhaps this is, in a masochistic kind of way, what was needed to help pull us back together again as a nation. I only hope we can help each other to heal the inevitable scars.
We have worked together, whether it be through:
Countries working together to beat the virus
Governments working with the society at large
Citizens working together by staying isolated
NHS staff pulling together
Other key workers allowing life’s necessities to continue amidst the chaos
Retired NHS coming out of retirement to join the frontline
NHS volunteers putting themselves forward to support the vulnerable
Businesses and organisations donating and making shortage equipment in the form of PPE gear
High end catering businesses becoming meals on wheels type services for the vulnerable
Organisations looking after the homeless
There is so much collaboration and teamwork going on around the country and around the world which is one of the most positive aspects to come out of this virus. It seems ironic that where togetherness is what we are being instructed not to do we are in fact building togetherness like never before and generating significant acts of kindness towards each other. An amazing image that symbolises this mood of togetherness and solidarity are the rainbows that children have been creating and displaying in their home windows.
There are 3 instances that I can think of that show where this attitude has not been the case in the reaction of some people towards police officers when asked why they are out on the streets when they should be at home, fraudsters online taking advantage of the vulnerable and people’s fear at this time and the act of panic buying in super markets at the start of the outbreak when people were reacting out of fear but causing real damage to fellow citizens around them. I am pleased that the panic buying now seems to have eased which takes unnecessary pressure off everybody.
One particular story of collaboration that has caught my attention has been that of the Mercedes AMG Formula 1 team engineers partnering with University College London Hospital (UCLH) to produce Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), a type of breathing aid that can assist Covid 19 patients. The devices deliver air and oxygen to the patient at a continuous rate increasing the amount of oxygen into the lungs and such devices have been used a lot in Italy and China to avoid the need to ventilate patients. Ventilators are, as we all know, in short supply and the procedure of ventilation is invasive so these devices would ease both situations. Industry Is recognising the national need to pool skills and resources to get the nation through this crisis.; the core skills of Formula 1 being rapid design, prototype manufacture, test and skilled assembly. The timescales with which events have occurred is bewildering. When the pressure is on, people do what they need to do to get the job done.
Take as another example of this the creation of the ExCel Centre hospital – The Nightingale Hospital which was put together and opened ready to receive Covid 19 patients in 9 days. The facility was built with the help of up to 200 soldiers a day from the Royal Anglian Regiment and Royal Gurka Rifles, working long shifts alongside NHS staff and contractors.
I guess one of the biggest teamwork efforts going on right now is that of different countries, sharing their knowledge and expertise about what is happening with Covid 19 in each country, the World Health Organisation being the epicentre or knowledge hub of this pandemic. This knowledge is helping countries to figure out the best way to slow the spread of the virus and thus support our healthcare systems. Experts are working around the clock to find a vaccine that can be created to stop this virus in its tracks with research studies being conducted by about 35 countries and academic institutions at least 4 of which already being tested on animals. 1 of these will enter human trials very soon.
The unprecedented speed with which this has all happened is largely due to research that had already happened to sequence the genetic material of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid 19. China had shared that information in January which has allowed research groups around the world to grow the live virus and learn how it invades human cells and makes people unwell. We are truly working as a global team on this one and where, in a fixed mindset it might be that sharing of information is unlikely to happen because it will make an other look more smart than you, in a Growth Mindset you recognise that everybody has strengths and skills to bring to the table and that with collaborated effort, you are much more efficiently able to achieve goals. In this instance, nothing is more important.
As I am writing this, I have just noticed on my Twitter feed advertising that could not be more pertinent to what I am writing. On 18th April a historic live global event is to take place entitled ‘One world Together at home’. As in times gone by, I refer of course to Band Aid, musicians have come together to play their part in raising funds in reaction to a global crisis whilst joining countries together and this global crisis is no exception – we may not be able to be together together, but we can be ‘together at home’ thanks to the wonders of technology. There could not be a more apt title. Where technology has in recent years been ripped apart for pulling society out of touch with humanity by gluing us to our screens, it is now ironically one of the few things binding us all together and giving us that sense of community. There is a lot of community spirit, kindness and humour being spread on social media presently.
I remember talking to others at the start of this journey about how people not so long ago were sending out a lot of messages on social media about ‘Being Kind to one another’ and then one of the first things to happen in this pandemic was the reporting of panic buying food and supplies which was not a very kind thing to do to your fellow citizens who also needed toilet paper! I feel that we have moved on from this moment and moved ourselves through Fear, we have been and continue to move through a period of learning about this situation which includes identifying our emotions about what is happening and then finding ways to control that emotion – I feel people have had time to process and come to terms with where we are and are able to decide how they are going to react to that and ‘as a team’, in so many different ways, I am glad to see is where a lot of people are at. They want to help and do their bit. It is a historic moment that we will all remember for the rest of our lives. There is a very definite feeling of togetherness at large, symbolised by the rainbows that adorn people’s windows.