We’ve glimpsed the value of work that is rarely celebrated: people driving trucks and restocking supermarkets; shift workers cleaning hospitals and driving buses; people manufacturing hygiene products or medical equipment in factories around the world. When our well-being and that of our families depends on the contributions of distant strangers, we have a direct interest in their access to adequate sanitation, healthcare, and the shelter and nutrition necessary to support this.
We have been reminded too of the vital role of ongoing intellectual investment. Hopes for COVID-19 mitigation, prevention and treatment lie in research incubated at universities and other institutions across fields as varied as social psychology and materials science. Our ability to respond to the health, social and economic challenges depends on the depth of expertise and experience cultivated there over decades.
We see the necessity too of community cohesion. Whether staying home to ‘flatten the curve’ or risking one’s health to help others, mobilisation against the common foe requires community solidarity. Reciprocity needs to have been previously established through individuals’ connections to their communities and their community’s support of them.
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