I’m writing this post during lockdown in 2020 during the Novel Coronovirus / Covid-19 pandemic.
Before the virus took hold in the UK I’d already started work on Raspberry Pi Outdoor Display (RGB LED Matrix) and Handrail Lighting (NeoPixels) Project. The idea was an extension of a light display I was planning to add to my Christmas Lighting display. I then planned to display messages on special events such as St George’s Day and Easter etc.
When the lockdown started we found ourselves very much dependant upon the bravery and generosity of key workers and volunteers striving to keep everyone safe. I therefore decided to repupose the LED Matrix display to send thank you messages to various key workers helping to support the community and keep us safe. I’ve also added some friendly messages and suggestions for things to do indoors.
These are some of the videos of displays that I have shown.
Day 1 – The NHS
The National Health Service is a large organisation from doctors and nurses working directly with those with the Virus, to the adminstration staff and cleaners without whom the NHS would not be able to function. This is a thank you to everyone working in the NHS whatever their role.
Day 2 – Shop Workers
It quickly became clear that as a nation we are very much depedant upon shops, and the staff in those shops, so that people can buy food and essentials. These have become key workers that are dealing directly with the public and so are at an increased risk of catching the virus. Where possible existing staff have continued to work, to ensure that people are fed and to support their communities. Many other people have taken short term work to help as well. In addition to those those in traditional stores where some shops have had to close down many have kept their online stores running to support people stuck at home including deliveries of educational materials and other products to keep businesses running and people occupied.
Day 3 – Lorry Drivers
Without the lorry drivers then they’d be nothing in our shops. So this message thanks them, the often unforgotten workers that keep the food supply chain working.
Day 4 – Happy Easter
The real reason I started creating the matrix display was to show topical messages, such as this Easter message. Whilst much has changed since then the message wishing everyone Happy Easter is still the same. I’ve added some eggs as well for those that may be following a local neighbourhood Easter Egg Game as suggested by the New Zealand Prime Minister for those unable to take part in a real Easter Egg Hunt due to the current situation.
Day 5 – Ambulance and Air Ambulance
I added an extra message for the Ambulance and Air Ambulance services who are responding to emergencies to people when they become sick.
Day 6 – Key workers
A thank you for all key workers, whether they are in the medical profession, postal services, keeping our food supply chain running, keeping the Internet and computer networks running, keeping our lights on (electricity company) or helping support our children in education. Many people that are essential to keeping the country operating in the difficult situation.
Day 7 – Postal and delivery workers
Our postal workers continue to work each day delivering post and parcels and messages from loved ones you cannot see. Also to all those working to deliver goods from online retailers and needed supplies.
Day 8 – Refuse workers
People are still generating rubbish which needs to be disposed of. With some waste and recycling sites closed to the public it is critically important that our bins still get emptied on a weekly basis.
Day 9 – Clap for carers
Actually split between day 8 and day 9 (due Thursday Clap for Carers) this is a thank you for those working in the NHS, but also other medical or caring professions including nursing homes, or those working behind the scenes in testing labs, cleaning staff and admin roles to look after those in need.
Day 10 – Volunteers
Members of the public volunteering to support others during this time. This includes the additional volunteers that support the NHS, but also existing volunteers such as St. John Ambulance, Food banks and youth organisations such as the Scouts and Guides who are still helping to support young people through virtual activities.
Day 11 – Emergency Services
Another thank you to the emergency services, including a fire engine and a police car alongside the ambulance used previously.
More coming soon
Please visit this page again to see the new messages.