Saturday, 25 April 2020

Letters to the World

By Daisy Davidson

As a young person living in such unprecedented times, I felt empowered to use my free time for the better. I saw on social media and in the news how people are struggling to cope with being isolated and the impact that this pandemic will be having on people’s mental health.

It may be easier to cope if you have close family and friends or if you’re tech-savvy with social media. However, a lot of people are isolated in day-to-day life and the most social contact they get is at a local cafe or pub.

I wanted to create a website for everybody and therefore, I made it as simple to use as possible. I made sure no email, phone number or any other personal details were necessary. I hope that people can find comfort in the fact that they’re not alone in how they’re feeling. I felt it crucial that the writers’ anonymity is kept, unless they choose otherwise, as people can often fear the judgement of others.

My website Letters to the World took around ten days to create and it was far from easy. I have little experience in making websites apart from having created a simple online store for my mum before. However, it was an enjoyable task though frustrating at times and I finally felt that I was making the most out of all this spare time in isolation.

What I have found even harder than making the site was spreading the word about it. So far, I have been on my local radio and used Twitter as a great way to make people aware of my website. So I would be grateful if any readers would share the site on social media or with friends and family.

Letters to the World is available in thirteen different languages as I felt there is so much to learn from how other countries and cultures are coping with this pandemic. As a UK citizen, I have been very grateful for the NHS and I wanted to learn more about how the healthcare systems in other countries are coping right now. Mental health is a global concern and I wanted my website to help as many people as possible.

My favourite feature of the site is the map, where you can see the most recent visitors to the website. I have had visitors from America all the way across to Australia, so I believe slowly the word about Letters to the World is being spread. I get no financial gain from my website but I have gained a lot of optimism and comfort from reading peoples letters and I hope other readers feel the same.

I would love for all of you reading this to add your own letter to the website, short or long. I know sometimes it can be hard to know where to start so here are my top tips:

  • Begin with your overall and immediate feelings, whether they are negative or positive.
  • Discuss how you have been using your free time and any challenges you have faced in carrying on with hobbies etc.
  • End with what you’re grateful for because we are all lucky in one sense or another.

I hope this website can be helpful for some of you and I would be grateful if you could spread the word. It is a challenging time for all of us but by talking and coming together we will get through it. We need to not only work as individual countries but come together as a world.

Website: www.letters2theworld.com

Twitter: @Lettersttworld

 

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