All over the world people have experienced the anxiety and pain that comes with facing the coronavirus, so surely this should unite us and allow us to reconnect as human beings. Many people have had to work from home and make adjustment to their daily lives - but what about the people on the front line, who must go out to work?

The uncertainty that comes with being a small business owner, key worker or service staff during these difficult times has impacted people’s wellbeing. Not only do they have to worry about managing their business or working in health care environments that have borne the brunt of the pandemic, they have also had to deal with inconsiderate people.

The unthoughtful behaviour shown to the people helping to keep the country running has also been shown on a much bigger scale, such as the recent decision by the Conservative government not to give free school meals to children. Have the people making the decision ever experienced this type of hunger? If not, they will never be able to relate to these families who are struggling to provide the basic needs for their children during the school holidays.

However, not everyone’s experience is negative. I recently spoke with Millie, who works in Elmers End bakery, about her experience interacting with customers during the pandemic. She talked about having had a good experience with customers, and said “I love it, you get to talk to people”. She added on to this by saying that if you are “nice to customers, they will be nice to you”. The beginning of the pandemic was hard for everyone, having to adjust to the sudden changes made to our everyday life, and also hard for people who had to still deal with customers. When we first went into lockdown, not much information was given on how to stay safe; of course, we knew the basics, but we weren’t even required to wear masks!

Millie said, “it has been scary”, and it was especially “scary at the beginning”, due to the lack of guidance. Now, however, it feels safer thanks to the wearing of masks and shields that have been put up over the counters to prevent the spread of the virus.

So, has the pandemic made people meaner? It’s difficult for everyone, but kindness can go a long way. Since we aren’t clapping for our heroes, we can still cheer them on in many ways, one of them being to simply show respect - at the end of the (long and tiring) day, we are all human.