I wrote during this lockdown that the silent but amazing heroes of our lockdown have been those of local origin. Not local by birth but by local care. People who live, work or are entwined with your cities, your towns or your villages and countryside. Our butchers. Our corner shops. Our local volunteers. Our local shopkeepers who diversified in our time of need. Our local citizens who have adapted and altered their lives to make ours safer and more normal, when life just wasn’t.
You may never know their names, you may even have never seen their faces if they were just a voice on the end of a telephone or a sightless hand leaving doorstep essentials. But whomever your heroes were – we all had at least one.
And I thank them all. Truly.
But now is the time that we at least can show some gratitude in return. That we are human. Not divided by identity or the boxes that we sort ourselves into in society. That we are all people with human emotions and cares.
So whilst we all return to some degree of normality, in England at least, the shopkeepers of this land can open their doors and invite in calm socially-distanced space their shoppers, their neighbours, their community to come, to engage with them. Whether to simply show solidarity, to demonstrate that you care whether their business survives and endures, or to make some purchase. In this time, it matters not. It is enough to simply do something. Like they did for us.
There is no better moment than this to support local. Whatever that means to you. So whether its in a one-way pedestrian system, in an organised queue, or in ordered one-in-one-out system – check in our local heroes, give them a smile, wave at them in their shops and businesses and if you can support them by buying local.
And imagine what this country would have been like without them.