From deaths (4.5 million worldwide at the time of writing) to mass unemployment and extreme poverty, Covid 19 has wreaked havoc on the world, to say the least. There probably isn’t a single person who wasn’t affected by the virus in some way, shape or form, and we have no way of knowing how it will continue to impact us in the future, potentially for generations to come.


What the pandemic did afford many adults, however, was the opportunity to stop and take stock; to address our current lives and our behaviours and assess if there were any changes that we wanted to make. This can currently be witnessed in what is being referred to as ‘the great resignation’ – in July in the UK, job vacancies soared to an all-time high, surpassing one million for the first time ever. We also know that coronavirus sparked a renewed and much needed interest in sustainability.


But as well as our outward actions, it would appear that Covid metamorphosed our mindsets. We shine a light on three specific traits that have been strengthened by the uncertainty we’ve all experienced over the last 18 months.



We all, in some way, had to get a little creative during Covid. But the most incredible feat of innovation that we witnessed was the expediated development of the vaccine.

An undertaking of this scale would usually take 10-15 years, but was achieved in 10 months (although, admittedly, work had started many years ago, following the world’s biggest Ebola outbreak in 2014). This achievement has changed the face of healthcare for good. In fact, the science behind the Oxford vaccine – ChAdOx – is being used in an attempt to fight cancer and prevent a host of other diseases, including Malaria, Zika, Rabies and TB.



It’s thought that the UK public alone gave an additional £800 million to charities in the first half of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. The Charities Aid Foundation said that the value of individual donations rose during lockdown, from a long-term average of £20, to a monthly median of £30 in May.


There are many more specific examples of a rise in charitable behaviour, too. One such example is the fact that the public’s willingness to participate in dementia research is at an all-time high. Similarly, there is an increased appetite for involvement in medical research in general.



It’s almost impossible to quantify the ways in which community engagement increased during the pandemic. This ranged from smaller tasks, such as fetching shopping or prescriptions for people shielding, through to the overwhelming numbers who signed up to be NHS Volunteer Responders – 170,000 in the first 24 hours, 750,000 by the week’s end. And that’s before we’ve even taken into consideration the members of the public who played their part in the physical rollout of the vaccine.

This war-like spirit has remained, too. In fact, many charities have been inundated with applications for voluntary positions, so much so that they’ve had to close their books for the time being. “We have received our largest number of volunteering enquiries to date over the last year,” says the Samaritan’s website, which is both remarkable and uplifting to read.



The Harvard Gazette refers to all of these unexpected outcomes as, “tiny flowers amid the cracked stones”. They have also, crucially, demonstrated the fact that society is rich in people willing and ready to support others. Long may that continue.