It’s been a year most people would like to forget but research by Christian Aid finds there may have been a few positives in the crisis.
A study conducted for the aid agency by Savanta ComRes suggests the nation has become kinder in the pandemic.
A quarter of respondents said they were saying hello to strangers in the street more than they did before, while a similar proportion (27%) said they were writing more notes to people they don’t see often.
Around one in five (19%) said they care more now about people outside the UK than they did before, while over a quarter (26%) said they feel that events in other parts of the world affect them.
Two in five (41%) said they worry more about what is happening in the world than they did before Covid-19, with 18- to 24-year-olds most likely to say this (46%).
Responding to the findings of the poll, Chine McDonald, Christian Aid’s Head of Community Fundraising and Public Engagement, said: “Many of us will be glad to see the back of 2020. We have all experienced the devastating effects of the pandemic, not been able to see loved ones, and faced restrictions that have put limits on our lives on and off throughout the year.
“But our survey shows these difficult experiences have had some positive impact in the levels of compassion that people are feeling as we head towards Christmas.
“Christmas is a time of goodwill to all, so it’s not surprising to see that people are thinking about their neighbours. But it’s encouraging to see they are thinking not just about their neighbours near, but their neighbours far, too.
“Coronavirus has exacerbated poverty both here and around the world where many of the world’s poorest and most marginalised communities are struggling with multiple crises such as war, health and economic inequalities and extreme weather conditions, as well as the pandemic.
“We wait with hope to see if these increased levels of awareness are reflected in our Christmas appeal, helping families in Ethiopia where conflict, climate change, locusts and coronavirus are a deadly combination for one of the poorest countries in Africa.”