- THE SCOTTISH RESPONSE TO THIS COVID19 EMERGENCY
On TV they are often talking about the ‘anxiety caused by this virus’ and the ‘stress due to the isolation’ caused by social distancing measures and they are saying that it can have a really big impact on mental wellbeing.
I would also add that many people are losing money and jobs because of this virus and that can only be a great source of stress and depression other than instilling a sense of uncertainty and fear in people.
Even those people who may never before have been affected by mental health issues may now be experiencing emotional distress due to financial distress and social distancing and although we can rely on technology now to do some smart working and to keep in touch with friends, it is also true that technology can isolate us even more in some cases and be used in the wrong way, especially by the younger ones.
Commercials on TV keep on advertising digital resources for children and young people and they try to encourage them to a healthy use of TV and social media.
The Scottish government also provided some basic advice for people to follow during lockdown which included:
- Keeping in contact with family and friends using video calls and the phone
- Planning your days with a good routine, including good sleeping patterns and exercising
- Focusing on positives matters within our personal control
…and they also warned us to beware of fake news which are flooding the web.
The government is also trying to find some funds to help people who need financial help using different resources and programmes such as the FOOD BANK of Scotland, a way to distribute food to the ones that cannot afford buying it.
Scottish fishermen, for instance, are turning to food banks and welfare organizations, as the coronavirus crisis has led to plummeting demand for seafood, leaving many unable to work and feed their families.
The worst-hit categories were the lobster and crab fishermen.
In Scotland we have many other support associations such as the CashBack for Communities, a unique Scottish Government program which takes money seized from criminal activity and invests them on helping young people or the Charities Aid Foundation, a fund to help smaller charitable organizations in the UK affected by the impact of Covid19 with grants of up to £10,000.
In Scotland they also created a new portal, called World of Work, where one can post and apply for jobs during the Covid emergency. Some companies are adapting to this emergency situation by requesting Skype interviews, offering virtual contracts and remote working positions.
Some churches and archdioceses are creating small grants to help organizations that support disadvantaged communities with grants of up to £5,000 that can cover a wide range of activities and projects. They give a preference for small community-based initiatives based around the principles of volunteerism and self-help and they are collecting funds from the churchgoers – although now people cannot go to church – using the means of online charity collection.
The Visual Arts Association of Scottish Artists has also created some funds in response to the uncertainty and loss of work caused by the coronavirus pandemic amidst artists and the Visual Arts of Scotland has initiated the Emergency Art Workers Support Fund (or EAWSF), a temporary relief fund that aims to support artists who have been impacted by the Covid19 situation.