Many countries are sending aid and emergency workers to those in greatest need, as a spirit of cooperation takes hold internationally.

As the death toll from the Coronavirus pandemic passes 40,000 with close to a million cases worldwide, people from all walks of life are creating a spirit of solidarity through acts of kindness.

The first such examples occured in Italy, the country hardest hit by the virus so far, with homebound residents coming out onto their balconies to sing during the lockdown.

In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other high profile politicians have announced that they will donate their salaries to help those most in need.

"I am launching the campaign personally by donating seven months of my salary," the Turkish leader said in a statement. 

Celebrities across the world have also turned up to support the effort to combat the deadly virus. 

Lady Gaga is one of them. The singer’s beauty brand HAUS has announced that it will donate a portion of its revenues to virus relief efforts in the US. 

"In the midst of Covid-19, it can be easy to feel powerless. We've been thinking a lot about our community and responsibilities in this time of uncertainty. Social distancing is one of the most important things we can do to control the spread of this virus and we encourage our community from across the world to participate if you can,” the brand said in a statement. 

"As another way to take action, HAUS will be giving back to our Los Angeles & New York City communities by donating 20% of our profits from last week's sales on Hauslabs.com to local food banks (@lafoodbank & @foodbank4nyc) in order to get food to those affected by the closing of schools and other places that offer this critical resource," the statement added. 

The Elton John-led starry benefit concert that featured Billie Eilish, Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys on February 9, 2020 has raised nearly $8 million to battle the coronavirus.
The Elton John-led starry benefit concert that featured Billie Eilish, Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys on February 9, 2020 has raised nearly $8 million to battle the coronavirus. (Chris Pizzello / AP Archive)

Swiss tennis star Roger Federer, who is regarded as one of the best players in history, has also offered his help.

“These are challenging times for everyone and nobody should be left behind,” Federer wrote on his Instagram account.  

“Mirka [Federer’s wife] and I have personally decided to donate one million Swiss Francs for the most vulnerable families in Switzerland. Our contribution is just a start. We hope that others might join in supporting more families in need. Together we can overcome this crisis!” the tennis star said. 

Other celebrities participating in efforts to help include; Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Rihanna, Angelina Jolie, Taylor Swift, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gwyneth Paltrow, James McAvoy, Justin Bieber, Donatella Versace, Kristen Bell and Jose Mourinho.

But it’s not just the entertainment and sporting elite helping, ordinary citizens are doing what they can to help the fight.

A nurse takes part in a candlelight vigil outside UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center to show solidarity and support for nurses across the US during the global outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Los Angeles, California, US, March 30, 2020.
A nurse takes part in a candlelight vigil outside UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center to show solidarity and support for nurses across the US during the global outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Los Angeles, California, US, March 30, 2020. (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters)

In the US, several Muslim organisations have organised campaigns to distrubute food and other essentials to ordinary people. 

British citizens have responded to a government call to support the country’s health services with half a million people promising to volunteer their time to the needy. 

The importance of social solidarity

Governments across the world have been enforcing measures to ensure social distancing and isolation to prevent the further spread of the epidemic. 

But experts believe official measures must come in tandem with social measures organised by individuals.

“The real antidote to epidemic is not segregation, but rather cooperation,” wrote Yuval Noah Harari, a historian, philosopher and the writer of the bestselling book, ‘Sapiens’.

“History indicates that real protection comes from the sharing of reliable scientific information, and from global solidarity,” Harari added.

“When one country is struck by an epidemic, it should be willing to honestly share information about the outbreak without fear of economic catastrophe – while other countries should be able to trust that information, and should be willing to extend a helping hand rather than ostracize (sic) the victim.”

"We must look beyond the next border fence. The virus has no nationality, and suffering does not stop at borders," said German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier last week, urging nations to get their act together.  

Humanoid robot Prepper is standing at the checkout counter of the Edeka grocery store to explain protective measures and to promote solidarity with each other, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Lindlar, Germany, March 31, 2020,
Humanoid robot Prepper is standing at the checkout counter of the Edeka grocery store to explain protective measures and to promote solidarity with each other, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Lindlar, Germany, March 31, 2020, (Wolfgang Rattay / Reuters)

"The better politics, business and science work together, the faster we will succeed. Our future does not lie in isolation from each other, but in shared knowledge." the president said. 

Other experts also emphasise the importance of solidarity in implementing policies like social distancing or to prevent situations like panic buying, which could deprive others of their essential needs. 

“In addition to social distancing, societies have often drawn on another resource to survive disasters and pandemics: social solidarity, or the interdependence between individuals and across groups,” wrote Eric Klinenberg, an American sociologist and a professor in social sciences at New York University.

“This an essential tool for combating infectious diseases and other collective threats. Solidarity motivates us to promote public health, not just our own personal security,” he added.

“It keeps us from hoarding medicine, toughing out a cold in the workplace or sending a sick child to school. It compels us to let a ship of stranded people dock in our safe harbors, to knock on our older neighbor’s door.”

Source: TRT World