On March 23, the UK was put under lockdown by the Government due to the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, with Bournemouth and surrounding communities all having to adapt to a ‘new normal’.

Non-essential businesses and schools were closed, while residents were told to ‘stay at home’ in a bid to weaken the threat of the virus and lessen the pressure on the NHS.

The instruction from Downing Street meant that residents in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole have had to come up with ways to keep themselves motivated and entertained.

With local shops, cinemas, restaurants, bars, and gyms closed for the time being, Dorset residents have been trying to make the most out of their situation.

The threat of Covid-19 cannot be ignored given the devastating loss of life on a daily basis across the UK, but one positive aspect that has come out of these unprecedented times is a strong sense of community.

Across Bournemouth and neighbouring towns, residents have been out in force every Thursday at 8pm to show their appreciation for the frontline workers that are putting their health at risk to treat others.

The ‘clap for carers’ has been a nationwide effort, and Dorset is no different! Many residents in local towns and villages applaud these heroes weekly while stood at their front doors.

Even though neighbours have to adhere to the social distancing rules – which require any person to stand 2 metres away from an individual from another household – there has been a strong sense of togetherness on the streets.

The community spirit does not end there, as many homes now display beautiful pictures of rainbows, showing solidarity in these times of struggle. Not only that, but plenty of residents have gone out of their way to make sure that neighbours deemed to be in the ‘vulnerable’ category get the necessities they need.

Many individuals have offered to pick up groceries for those who cannot leave their homes for essential items, while others have been reaching out to individuals that live alone. It is unclear how long Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole residents will be living under restricted conditions, but many are certainly trying to make the best out of a bad situation.