Service and self-sacrifice. Our new polling suggests that people are more concerned about others than themselves.

Mar 30, 2020 by

by Will Tanner, Conservative Home:

The paradox of this pandemic is that, far from keeping us apart, it is bringing us closer together.

Last Monday, when official advice placed 1.5 million people into self-isolation and prohibited the rest of the population from coming within two metres of each other, I feared the most insidious effect of the virus could be the state-enforced solitude. Numerous studies associate loneliness with a 50 per cent increase in mortality, a much higher multiplier than the virus itself.

That trepidation lasted only three days. The outpouring of appreciation for NHS carers, from millions of balconies, porches and stairwells last Thursday evening, revealed a national solidarity many us have not felt in decades. The fact that just shy of three-quarters of a million people, one per cent of the population, volunteered for the NHS volunteer responder scheme shows how many want to serve in the national effort, not just applaud it.

A deep reservoir of community and contribution, obscured in normal times, has been uncovered by our present situation. Yes, media stories have focused on the selfish stockpiling of a minority, but the silent majority are worried about others. In fact, new polling data published today by Onward reveals that more people are worried about the health of their community than their own physical and mental health, and even that of their immediate family.

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