Today, we at the Telegraph are launching a new section for our readers in light of the coronavirus outbreak. You Are Not Alone is a collection of stories to showcase community spirit, bring you the best advice and share tips for coping. It is a metaphorical space for readers to gather and share expertise while coronavirus prevents us from meeting in person. Social connectivity is more important now than ever, and we want you to remember that you're not alone.
Britain is effectively on a war footing. The invisible enemy – Covid-19 – is within. But the battle is one we shall win.
If ever there were a time to harness national pride, pluck and patriotism this is it. And the United Kingdom can do it.
How? By drawing on reserves of courage and fortitude embodied by the spirit of the Blitz and the bullishness of Brexit, safeguarding the health of the nation to the hand-washing strains of God Save the Queen.
Physical distancing is the latest strategy; the challenge now is to pull together while staying apart.
But isolation can be overcome thanks to The Telegraph’s introduction of social connectivity.
Today in our features pages and online, we are launching You Are Not Alone, a unique interactive platform that aims to provide readers with a metaphorical space to gather, a place to debate and a forum for the sort of exciting, innovative ideas that can be weaponised against the threat of the coronavirus.
Here, readers will be able to get up-to-the-minute advice from our team of experts – today, small business specialist, Erica Wolfe-Murray and gardening doyenne, Bunny Guinness.
Parents and the elderly, the worried well and concerned carers alike can ask for advice, air opinions and celebrate the very best of British ingenuity and grace under fire.
Our innovative approach will be led by Daily Telegraph readers. A great many of you have already been in touch with thought-provoking suggestions and touching expressions of gratitude towards the deep wellspring of public kindness.
Take Barrie Bain in East Sussex, who suggests that friends hold “virtual dinner parties”, where they cook themselves the same meal and connect via webcam to dine en masse.
Or Joan Leith, in her 80s, who lives alone and reports that “bad news brings out the best in people” as attested by the seven calls she has received from well wishers offering to assist in any way they can.
Meanwhile, Bernard Kerrison from London calls on credit card providers to lift the contactless payment limit to £50. “If it reduces the need to touch pin key-pads, even slightly, it can only be good thing.”
By tapping into readers’ resourcefulness we can help effect positive change that will benefit the United Kingdom at this moment of crisis.
Anthony Haslam in Surrey moots a government-funded workforce, drawn from those in the hospitality Industry, who are likely to lose their jobs.
“They could be employed to help those people confined to their homes with deliveries of food, exercising dogs and whatever is deemed necessary to meet their needs,” he suggests.
Is this feasible? If not, why not? We will find out the answers to the questions the country is asking.
In the days, weeks and months to come it is you, our readers, who will set the agenda in these pages and far beyond.
Every day, there will be a live chat with one of our experts on the website. Tomorrow, Family, education and careers editor, Sally Peck will be discussing coping with working from home with children – join the conversation with her and other readers from 1pm at our new dedicated page, You Are Not Alone.
And send your stories, questions and inspirational ideas to the rest of our team at the addresses below.
Every letter and email is welcome. We are all in this together; come join us.
Write to the usual Telegraph Letters address 111 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0DT
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include your name, address and telephone number.