IN A TIME when the question “how are you?” has never meant so much, I genuinely hope you are bearing up in these bizarre and unsettling times.

I hope, wherever you are locked down currently, you are able to stay fed, safe and calm.

If you are one of our incredible, awe-inspiring key workers, putting in ridiculous hours to keep the rest of us well, supplied with food and our kids educated, albeit from a distance, I cannot thank you enough. I owe you a drink.

The same goes for the incredible 500,000 or so people who have put themselves forward as volunteers to support the NHS through this testing period.

I salute you... you are superheroes and this country would fall to its knees without you.

This week has seen some major lows for so many, but among the stress and worry, great waves of kindness and positivity have washed over us.

At some point every day my heart fills with warmth and gratitude as I watch communities come together and people go out of their way to support those around them who need help.

I have lived on my street for almost seven years and, while I know and am friends with my immediate neighbours, I only recognise a handful of other faces to say hello to.

Until this week that is. Suddenly everyone is pulling together and making a huge effort to reach out to the people they live in close proximity to.

Obviously I do not mean physically reaching out... that would be rather dangerous right now... but we are now all in contact with each other through WhatsApp and cannot wait until the moment we can get out on our street and have a blooming big party.

One neighbour a few doors down from us has been responsible for connecting us all up and somehow it has made the coming weeks feel a little more bearable.

This thoughtful soul posted a letter through every door on the street, introducing herself and suggesting ways we can stick together and keep our spirits up as we weather this insane storm.

We even have a timetable for window displays we can all enjoy as our homes are terraced, giving us a clear view of those across the street, so we can stay as upbeat and positive as possible. As unimportant as rainbows or sunshine in windows may appear in the grand scheme of things, I believe this kind of communal activity is hugely beneficial currently.

This is exactly the kind of thing that will help keep people going while they cannot spend time with friends and family, or even work colleagues, feeling part of a supportive community with help on their doorstep should they need it.

I worry for those who are not in close-knit communities, who look out and see no other sign of life at all.

It must be incredibly tough and I can only hope they are finding other ways to stay connected and keep their minds healthy as well as their bodies.

While there are three of us in our house to give each other company and cuddles, well four if you count our cat Mabel, my son is really missing his pals.

As an only child, he is used to getting his buddy fix at school, hanging out with 31 other kids his age, having fun, making up games, telling each other silly stories and so on. Now he is stuck at home with his parents trying their best to fill all the roles he needs to get through the day.

So far he has coped relatively well with this huge adjustment, but of course it is early days and everything feels like a bit of a novelty. Aside from the worksheets and other little bits sent from his teacher, it is a bit like a school holiday right now, especially since the sun has come out to play this week.

We have been out super early every morning for a bike ride or scoot so he can get some exercise. Actually it is equally so that we can get some too as it is keeping us sane right now. I have even had to take up running, which I despise with every part of my soul, but actually the feeling afterwards makes it all worth it and sets me up for another long stretch of being shut in the house. The sunshine is also a tonic and even being out in our minuscule garden, feeling its heat and brightness is such a mood lifter.

On Thursday night I joined with everyone else to clap for our carers and the overwhelming sense of us all being in this together was incredibly moving. It brought a lump to my throat and tear to my eye. My only hope now is for everyone to obey the rules, to stay home, stay well and help protect those working on the frontline, battling to keep the nation as healthy as possible. Keep looking out for each other and please, do ask for help if you need it.