Governments around the world have introduced various public health and other to tackle the spread of COVID-19. These vary from country to country and there are also many local variations. Readers must ensure that the follow the local government and public health measures at all time. The information here is primarily written from a UK perspective. Please ensure you are following the public health advice given in the country in which you are based:
United Kingdom: Public Health England
Australia: Department of Health
New Zealand: Ministry of Health
Netherlands: Ministry of Health
Canada: Canadian Government
United States: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Republic of Ireland: Health Protection Surveillance Centre
World Health Organization: COVID-19 advice for the public
International Air Travel Association: Travel restrictions, by country
The Order of St. George is a community of men and women who seek to follow and advance the timeless values of chivalry – courage, compassion, and care for others.
These values are never more important than in times of crisis, as now.
With people staying at home as coronavirus spreads, you might be wondering how you can help those most at need. We know that every member and supporter of the Order will want to do their bit during this international crisis.
In saying this, we must emphasize that we are not asking you to be reckless with your health of that of others. You must continue to follow the advice of the public health authorities, including isolation at home. Please bear in mind too that we are in a fast evolving situation in which official advice will change rapidly.
Even when movement outside the home is severely restricted, there are plenty of ways to help on-line.
In this toolkit we offer some suggestions of things you can do to help the community.
We published a special edition of Called to Order earlier this year, and will continue to report on our activities. Please join us for our next virtual pub evening.
We look forward to hearing from you, and to the day, not far off, when we can again welcome you to the meetings and activities of our Order.
Simon McIlwaine, Grand Prior Emeritus
Stuart A Notholt, Magisterium Officium
Mark Haley, Grand Chancellor
First, the good news
Thousands of our fellow citizens are rallying to Her Majesty the Queen’s reminder that our nation’s history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal.
Offers of help for the frail, elderly and vulnerable have poured in on social media and across news networks the length and breadth of our nation.
Help your community
There are lots of things you can do to help, always providing you follow NHS advice to ensure your own safety.
We have created a simple message that you can post through the letterbox of your neighbours who may need your help. See the graphic below and download an A4 template of the card.
Working with others
Many local communities now have COVID-19 mutual aid groups.
To find groups in your area please see:
- NHS volunteer army
- Red Cross Reserves
- Good Neighbours Network
- Local Church websites
- BBC local radio stations are running regular volunteer call-outs
If there isn’t a local support group in your area – set one up!
Self-isolation is obviously very lonely so call anyone you know who is avoiding going out. Ring friends and elderly relatives or neighbours to see if they need prescriptions collected, or any essential shopping. Offer to Skype them or play some online games together to help them socialize or just be a friendly voice on the phone. Even if you are far away, just having a chat could mean a lot to someone.
Other ways you can help:
Donate to a food bank
Foodbanks play a vital role in supplying people and families in need with food, toiletries and other essential resources. Some food banks are struggling with fewer donations and they are unable to get some staples due to stockpiling.
In the UK, the largest foodbank network is the Trussell Trust.
At this time, the Trussell Trust is urging people who can safely do so to continue supporting their efforts. You can also donate on-line.
With people staying home, blood donations are expected to fall and the NHS will still need lots of donors.
Giving blood and platelets has been recognized as a medical need and a form of helping vulnerable people during the COVID-19 outbreak. It is essential to patients and the NHS.
The NHS says you can keep donating as normal, unless you have travelled to a coronavirus risk area, been in contact with or been infected by the virus.
Support small businesses
Lots of small businesses are struggling as people are staying home. Try to buy some things online if they offer it or think about buying gift vouchers to use in the future.
Local farm shops and corner shops may also have better choices, particularly if there has been panic buying at the bigger stores.
Support the arts
With theatre, cinema and gallery closures and music concerts restricted, the arts and culture industry is taking a massive hit.
Options including donating online, buying an annual membership or purchasing items online including merchandise from artists, musicians and other cultural organizations.
There are many musicians’ or artists’ welfare charities you might wish to support.
Protect your health and that of others
Public Health England has created a set of resources for everyone to use in promoting health measures in the workplace and broader community. They have also launched Every Mind Matters, a guide to protecting your mental wellbeing during the pandemic.
For the most current advice on Coronavirus visit the NHS Website.
If you feel unwell with the symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature, new continuous cough) visit the NHS 111 on-line triaging service at 111.nhs.uk/covid-19. Do not visit your GP or hospital unless it’s an emergency.
Formal Church services may be limited, but many churches and local groups have moved on-line. The Church of England has some suitable suggestions for both individual and group intercessions here.
Please pray for the Queen and the Royal Family, for the Government, for all health workers, and those members of the Order of St George who are working in the medical, emergency and crisis communications sectors.