It was the best of times. It was the worst of times (Charles Dickens).

There is no such thing as society (Margaret Thatcher).

Aliens have visited earth (David Cameron).

Many of us, bewildered by the ‘me first’ behaviour of so many people, wonder if Dickens, Thatcher and Cameron were collectively right. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the emergence of a new species.

They are a cross-fertilisation of primitive hunter gatherer and bi-ped locust. Their night time habitat is toilet roll lined caves. Their bookcases are stocked with best selling titles like ‘Spaghetti Hoops’ and ‘Sockeye Salmon’. Their daytime haunts are urban supermarkets, where they swarm in large numbers. Physical characteristics are sharp elbows and blind spots to the elderly and NHS staff.

Satire aside, I no longer recognise my own country. What on earth has happened to our society? Are we now reaping the harvest of decades of parents who indulged and spoilt their children? Parents justified this as wanting their children to have what they hadn’t. These, now adult, children don’t recognise their own behaviour as selfish or unjustified entitlement.

Behavioural Scientists advising the government through this pandemic have predicted an outbreak of altruism. Let’s hope they are right. The lovely little boy who spent his pocket money on a pack of toilet rolls and gave one roll to each of his elderly neighbours, was a heart melting moment during this crisis. Surely he’s a candidate for a ‘Pride of Britain’ award? He can teach many of the ‘me first’ what being part of society actually means. A credit to his parents.

Dare we hope that when the worst is over, that today’s young people will lose interest in trivial social media ‘stars’ who contribute nothing? Instead of wanting to emulate internet ‘stars,’ will our young aim to become one of the real stars and heroes of our society, namely, everyone working in the NHS and other caring roles? These real heroes need our support and respect right now, like never before.