Photo Credit: Tyler Leigh Vivier for Good Things Guy

A war-time emergency guide from World War II is just as relevant today during the COVID-19 pandemic as it was eighty years ago!


Global (12 May 2020) – While watching a YouTube video about the Victory Gardens during World War II, I was reminded of a small replica book I was gifted a few years ago. The book is “authoritative advice for the plain citizen”, a guide on “What to do in any war-time emergency”.

Curiosity got the better of me and I went to find it. The tiny pocketbook was created during the war to help everyday people access helpful information relating to treating injuries, living through air raids, helping the homeless, how to deal with a fire, firebombs and treating shock.

The book also lists six golden rules. As I read through them I sat dumbfounded. The six golden rules from World War II are still incredibly relevant today, nearly eighty years later!

1. Keep your head; obey any instructions that may be given by those in authority – calmly and immediately.

This first rule, especially in today’s times, receives a lot of pushback from people across the globe. Millions of people are defying calls to stay home. Times have changed since the 1940s, people are more likely to fight for their rights, stand up to authorities and demand answers for actions being taken by those in power.

This is all fair and we should be holding our leaders accountable for their actions but let’s just remember the “keep your head” part. We cannot descend into anarchy.

2. Disperse. Don’t crowd together in the streets.

This is 100% relevant. We should be maintaining any social distance available and if a place is too crowded, rather move off in a direction that is less busy. This is especially important not only to keep yourself and your family safe but also those around you.

3. On the warning being given, seek cover unless your job demands otherwise.

This fits into the stay home mentality. If your job is essential, get it done you champion! But if you are able to stay home, you should do so.

4. Learn the very simple and efficient measures for dealing with incendiary bombs and with incipient fires generally.

Ok, this one isn’t relevant but you could learn some other more relevant skill.

5. Help one another. Set an example of calmness; take care of children, the aged, of the injured, especially if you are unfortunate enough to be caught in a crowd.

Well, this is simple, just keep helping those in need. There are thousands of charities doing good for communities in need. Stay tuned to Good Things Guy, we showcase new charities and organisations every single day!

6. Don’t stand around staring at the sky. Curiosity killed the cat.

You heard em, just keep moving. Standing around just leads to trouble!

It was pretty cool finding this book and sharing it with you. Our grandparents and great-grandparents that were involved in the war or lived through the war-times of the past, they survived by sticking together. We can do the same as long as we stay positive and stand together!

Photo Credit: Tyler Leigh Vivier for Good Things Guy

Sources: “What to do in any war-time emergency”
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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