Social Media

#ViralKindness spreads across Australia in response to self-isolation

The #ViralKindness campaign is spreading across the world, helping those in self-isolation. Source: Westend61

Australians are using #ViralKindness to offer help to their self-isolating neighbours.

As COVID-19 spreads its ugly wrath across the country, Australians are clubbing together to help those in self-isolation by picking up groceries, making deliveries or just offering a friendly phone call.

The #ViralKindness campaign started in the United Kingdom in recent days with people offering their services to the elderly or self-isolating people in their community.

Becky Wass, from Cornwall in England's southwest, said she designed the template after talking to her husband about ways they could help.

"Coronavirus is scary," she said on Facebook. "Let's make kindness go viral."

"I'm now hearing heartwarming stories from around the world about people connecting with their neighbours," she told the BBC. 

Images circulated online of a postcard-style note, which neighbours can fill in with their requests from "picking up urgent supplies" to "a friendly phone call".

Australians were quick to get on board, sharing on social media the images with offers of support to those in their community.

“Let’s spread kindness instead of viruses, because kindness is contagious too,” Melbourne user Olsen Oula posted with the image.

Multiple online Facebook groups have also been set up for users wanting to help others in and around their community. 

The online movement, a welcome shift from images of brawls in supermarkets, comes as thousands have been placed in self-isolation while the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia continues to rise.

One user in the UK shared images of dozens of the #ViralKindness postcards printed out, saying their partner worked at a printing shop and was offering to send the cards to whoever wanted them.

Meanwhile, a user in Sydney posted that his footy team would pick up any excess toilet paper from big businesses and drop them off to those in need.

A Channel 10 reporter posted a video of an elderly person handing over to a fellow shopper the last remaining packet of toilet paper for sale at their local supermarket.

Head of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, shared a video of a Spanish fitness instructor running a free class for those in self-isolation, adding that he was "impressed and inspired by the examples of kindness and compassion" emerging online. 

"With this spirit we can beat coronavirus," he added on Twitter. 

Other tags trending on social media included #StayHomeChallenge, where people shared their stories of coping with self-isolation.

Suggestions included making sure you accessed daylight on a balcony or a garden, staying informed without constantly consuming negative news, connecting with loved ones through social media, meditating or exercising, embarking on a new project, and laughing.

One user noted that “introverts have been training for this their whole lives”.

As of Tuesday afternoon, only people who have recently travelled from overseas or have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case and experienced symptoms within 14 days are advised to be tested.

If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor, don’t visit, or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch