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Send more noodles: How locals in the Wirral are helping out their new neighbours

An person wearing a mask stands at a window of a staff accomodation block at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral.
An person wearing a mask stands at a window of a staff accomodation block at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral. Copyright Jon SuperJon Super
Copyright Jon Super
By Orlando Crowcroft
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From sourcing spicy food to sharing holiday snaps, Wirral residents are trying to make life easier for their 'VIP' guests in a nearby coronavirus quarantine centre.

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On the Coronavirus Compassionate Wirral Facebook group on Wednesday afternoon, the main subject of discussion was the various brands of instant noodles available in local shops - and their relative levels of spiciness.

The group, set up just days earlier, now has some 1,000 members, some inside the Arrowe Park Hospital centre where 94 Britons are being quarantined after returning from China, but most of them outside and keen to make life a little easier for their new neighbours.

One of the founders, Cheryl German, said she was motivated to start the group after encountering negative comments about the fact that potential coronavirus victims were being quarantined in the Wirral, a UK region close to the city of Liverpool.

“When this came to light I could only put myself in their position,” she told Euronews.

Please could someone mark which of these would be best for me to order for you - these are the ones with next day delivery! Thank you

Publiée par Karen Franks sur Mardi 4 février 2020

“We have a local Facebook page and I did notice on there that were [negative] comments that I thought, come on let’s be kind. I came off the group and I just set up my own. But not for one minute did I think it would have gone so big and so quick.”

She wanted to encourage those who considered the new arrivals to be ‘VIP’ - rather than unwanted - guests to connect and help source food and supplies that would make their two week, enforced stay in Arrowe Park Hospital a little more bearable.

Many of those in quarantine are of Chinese heritage and many of the demands on the site have been for brands of spicy noodles and chopsticks.

In the days since, users have posted to offer everything from Chinese-language books to Chinese-to-English translation services, and the donations skyrocketed to the extent that the local council has had to step in to help the volunteers with their deliveries.

Other users have swapped pictures of Wuhan for those of the Wirral, shared birthday cards for those inside the centre and details of a drop-in centre for families of those quarantined.

“It really is saying: Look, let’s find the positive in this. Let’s be kind. The world is a lovely place and there is kindness there if you look for it. Behaviour breeds behaviour.”

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