At last we are showing some level of compassion. Corona has hit us harder than a Tyson uppercut and it didn’t take long to see the worst of human spirit. Supermarket shelves stripped and conmen door knocking purporting to be from charitable endeavours.

Fights were videoed in Costco as our forefathers turned in their graves and looked down on the battle of the Andrex three-ply, as gimme, gimme, gimme became not just a song but a way of life. But then, shoots of compassion popped through the barren wastelands of humanity and, despite the lunatics still ransacking the asylum, others went full circle.

In times of national disaster, and coronavirus undoubtedly falls into this category, the mettle of individuals' character shines through. I have seen, and subscribed to, numerous online posts offering assistance through shopping, checking in on a neighbour, helping with the garden, or passing resources and advice as we all begin with good intentions of home schooling, which will last until mid-April at best. Others offer insights as to how to relieve boredom at home. Some of this wisdom is ropey as I doubt I will be able to undertake a Skype knitting session for more than 10 seconds before giving up the yarn, yet the intent is good, and righteous, and welcome. It is a boon to know that not all adults, or kids, are complete self-serving numpties.

Videos of schools singing Labi Siffre’s Something Inside So Strong outside the window of a care home warm the cockles. A son on a deck chair talking outside his dad's care home window fills cyberspace with a glow not seen since we became vitriolic while fighting over the carcass of Brexit.

But still some persist with their self-centred remits. Now, as much as I am an advocate for capitalist systems, although not perfect by any means, some have taken it too far. There are several stories doing the rounds of shops and chemists who, despite being supported by residents for years, nay decades, are showing their true colour and that colour is an ugly shade of blood red.

Hand sanitiser for £19.99 and four toilet rolls for £10 have become commonplace as those who purport to offer support and be a cog in the wheel of community cohesion are nothing but fakes; charlatans who may have the upper hand now through their ability to source scant resources, but who will, god willing, in time, be made to pay for their actions, nay, crimes against humanity.

When challenged, the go-to for the unsuspicious shop owner seems to be the police, as if they haven’t anything better to be dealing with at the moment, as the entrepreneur, having been outed as a thieving mercenary, is videoed to highlight their misdemeanour to a self-isolating world. They claim harassment, which in these cases is well deserved: if you don’t want to be shorn, don’t fleece your customer base.

I would urge us all to go and buy the £19.99 hand sanitiser, if that’s what you need at this time. If you don’t wish to use a copy of the Sun on which to cleanse your derriere then pay the tenner, but whatever you do keep a note of where you purchased it as you sneer whilst handing over payment.

Remember the name of that shop that, in time of need, did not add just a couple of quid, which is understandable, but ramped the price up five or ten times as if we were suffering the curse of hyperinflation. And then, when all this madness is over, and it will be, whether in three months' or two years’ time, boycott that shop as if your life depends on it. Spend all your hard earned in the shops that did not stamp on the corpse of human desperation in our darkest hour, and be vengeful to those who did, and make them pay. It seems money is the God to some, and nothing will hurt them more than hitting them for ever and a day where it will truly hurt: in the pocket.

Now, I’m not a vengeful man but this has rattled my cage, and it should rattle yours too. They need to know that we have long memories and in time they will understand just how long.

  • Brett Ellis is a teacher