The coronavirus may not be the darkest hour that this country has ever faced, but there is no denying the choas it is causing in our communities, especially for those who are vulnerable.

It is true that coronavirus has quite a low mortality rate but for people over 70 or with diabetes, respiratory conditions or cancer, infection can be more serious.

Even then, however, survival rates are high. Take, for example, the news that a 100-year-old man recently became the oldest person to beat the virus.

The major issue facing vulnerable people is self-isolation.

For over 70s, isolation was already an issue - now, a simple walk into town or a visit to a coffee shop are off the cards.

People are scared and self-isolation will certainly not help the mental health of individuals who may already be experiencing anxiety.

Luckily, there are a hundred ways you can help people in your neighbourhood if you don’t fall into the higher risk category.

Checking in on people by telephone, social media or email could be some people’s only lifeline to the outside world and older residents may be hesitant to ask for help unless you offer to give it first.

Even something as small as offering to look after someone’s garden while they self-isolate, or take the bins out, or pick up some extra groceries from the supermarket, could do a world of good.

Sometimes, even a conversation could help.

As more and more of us are set to work from home over the coming weeks, and social occasions and sporting events are cancelled, it may be time to resurrect the old art of conversation.

Another major issue for our communities is the impact self-isolation could have on our local economies.

Independent retailers will be badly hit by the turmoil, and need our custom now more than ever.

If you are fit, healthy, and don't need to self-isolate, please consider visiting our local shops for your daily needs, rather than the huge supermarkets that can surely absorb the hit.

There are all kinds of local retailers who could be in desperate need of your custom, so please consider them next time you need to nip out for the essentials.