Covid-19 volunteers - the people helping others get through the crisis

Covid-19 volunteers - the people helping others get through the crisis
Copyright  Jennifer Lorenzini/LaPresse via AP
By Mark Armstrong  with AP

The coronavirus pandemic has led to an army of volunteer across Europe helping the vulnerable cope with the crisis

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted people all over Europe to help those less fortunate or able than themselves.

Elderly people are especially vulnerable.

In the Italian city of Naples, volunteers deliver shopping for those who struggle to do it themselves.

The local authority gives the helpers concessions such as allowing them to skip lines at supermarkets and pharmacies so they can get deliveries to those who need it as quickly as possible.

"Their needs are vital," said one woman shopping.

"It's difficult for everyone, but let`s try to do it for those who need it most," another woman added.

In the Russian capital Moscow there's no obligatory confinement as yet, although people are being encouraged to self-isolate, even to the extent of avoiding other family members.

But people still need to eat.

The City Hall has opened a hotline that allows pensioners to call in and leave orders. They still have to pay for their shopping, but delivery is free.

"I think that for the moment, for some time, we should all stay at home," explained 67-year-old Alma Shayakhmetova. "It may be a bit difficult, a bit hard for us, but I’m grateful to these younger women who are helping me. Now I don’t have to go to the supermarket, they’ve brought everything."

The campaign is very much a top-down initiative rather than a grassroots one. The helpers are from the group Medical Volunteers. It works together with the All-Russian Popular Front who are strong supporters of President Vladimir Putin.

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