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In Wales, rainbows spread cheer

One of the houses in Bridgend with multiple images of rainbows in the windows. (Holly Hostettler-Davies/YJI)

Bridgend, South Wales, UK – It’s all that everyone can think about at the moment. It’s changed the way we live and how we perceive the world. The pandemic has claimed the lives of thousands of our loved ones and will claim the lives of thousands more.

Yet by focusing on all of the negativity of covid-19, it’s becoming easy to forget about important little things like expressing gratitude for the heroes helping to fight this battle.

In the UK, I’m lucky to have seen such a strong sense of appreciation during this crisis, for the National Health Service especially.

For the past two Thursdays, the entire nation has come together to “clap for carers” at 8 p.m. It’s so inspiring to see how everyone is coming together at such a difficult time. With a lot of TV and media coverage, it has now become what some people look forward to most during the week, a chance to come together and unite – at a distance, obviously.

I hope it will continue every week for the entirety of the crisis, as I feel it’s important to thank the people on the frontline. They are risking their lives for us every day, so it shouldn’t be too much to ask for us to simply show how grateful we are for the risks they are taking.

An image of a rainbow which the author decorated to put in her window to show her own appreciation. (Holly Hostettler-Davies/YJI)

But I am aware that not every nation is showering their pandemic heroes with the same appreciation and gratitude. That’s why I thought it would be important to share what my community is doing, to spread the message of how important it is for our communities to all come together and win this war against covid-19 together.

My local community of Bridgend has been great at expressing its appreciation during this time too, and I’m proud to be part of it. Schools are closed here, like they are throughout the rest of the world, and remote learning has become part of our new daily routine.

With exams across the country being canceled, schools have been able to relax the learning curriculum, meaning that we can focus on important values such as gratitude and positivity.

My comprehensive school has been setting us weekly challenges, all with the aim of spreading gratitude, positivity and appreciation. We have been assigned to write letters to the residents at the local care home, creating “praised postcards” to give thanks to the people in our local community who are doing so much to help fight Covid-19, and of course, creating and decorating our rainbows.

One of the letters the author has written to an elderly lady in her local care home. (Holly Hostettler-Davies/YJI)

If you’re not from the UK, you might not be aware of the rainbow campaign, but it was created by an National Health Service nurse who wanted to create a symbol of hope and appreciation for the work currently being carried out by the agency.

Everyone in my community, as well as across the nation, has been making their own rainbows to place in their windows. There’s a rainbow in nearly every house, which shows how we have all come together to spread positivity.

It’s as if everyone is now taking the time to appreciate and realize the crucial work our health system does. While putting a picture of a rainbow up in your window doesn’t seem like a big deal, it brings the community together and is sure to put a smile on someone’s face.

During a global crisis, there is nothing more important than spreading happiness and gratitude.

Thank you to everyone working for the NHS, and all of the other key workers, at this increasingly difficult time. Your help and commitment are appreciated now more than ever. The whole nation is so thankful.

Stay safe all.

Holly Hostettler-Davies is a Junior Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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