The dramatic way in which the coronavirus has been (and continues to be) covered in the news has created a sense of panic among people across the country.
Some folks are panic shopping and some are self-isolating.
One heartwarming story is getting national attention when an elderly couple, who are in frail health, and so scared to be in public sat in a public parking lot for nearly an hour waiting for someone to help them get some groceries. And someone stepped up to the plate.
The incredible story was captured on Twitter by Rebecca Mehra who helped this couple get what they needed – but more than that, to show them that compassion and kindness exist even in the densest pockets of irrationality.
I went to the grocery store this afternoon. As I was walking in I heard a woman yell to me from her car. I walked over and found an elderly woman and her husband. She cracked her window open a bit more, and explained to me nearly in tears that they are afraid to go in the store.
— Rebecca Mehra (@rebecca_mehra) March 12, 2020
“I went to the grocery store this afternoon,” Mehra’s post starts.
“As I was walking in I heard a woman yell to me from her car. I walked over and found an elderly woman and her husband. She cracked her window open a bit more, and explained to me nearly in tears that they are afraid to go in the store.”
Now, I have to tell you that I live in rural Maine, which is considered the oldest state in the country where the largest segment of our population is in or near retirement and the median age is 45.
What Mehra is describing could easily happen at any store in my neck of the woods, which makes my heart swell with pride. Ms. Mehra stepped up to help this couple and it’s the kind of thing we should all be doing.
She describes how the woman tells her that they know the coronavirus is dangerous for them, that they have no family to help them, and they need food but won’t go inside out of fear of getting sick.
So the woman passes a $100 bill and a list through the window and hands it to Ms. Mehra.
She tells her Twitter followers that she took the list and the money and without a second thought, she went into the store and got everything they asked for.
She then returned and handed the woman change and put their groceries in their trunk.
In the final part of her Tweet thread that has exploded on Twitter, having been shared 95K times and attracting half a million reactions, Mehra gives a call to action to anyone who might be reading her post to help when you can and to remember that not everyone has someone to turn to for help.
Her simple and yet profound act of compassion in a time of hysterics and fear caught the attention of CNN reporter Brianna Keilar.
When asked what she hoped people would get out of her now-famous tweet, Mehar told Keilar, “look out for your neighbors, look out for others in your community,” she said.
“Kindness helps especially if someone is having a hard time or can’t get basic essentials, try to reach out to them.”
You can tell she really means that from her follow up tweet from yesterday encouraging all of us to reach out and help those who might be forgotten.
The coronavirus, which has now reached worldwide pandemic status and has made its way across the continental US is hitting different populations in unexpected ways.
According the recently updated information from the CDC, Covid-19 is hitting older people and those with serious underlying health conditions the hardest.
Mysteriously, it affects children as they are testing positive for the novel virus, however, most children do not appear to present with symptoms thus sparing them from the worst parts of the frightening disease.
Here’s how you can help those around you even with social distancing.
- Offer to purchase groceries for your elderly neighbors. You can drop them off on a porch to avoid contact while saving them from having to be in public.
- Offer to pick up the mail and leave it at their door.
- Offer to walk their dog or bring their pets to vet appointments.
- Make it a point to call or text once a day to check-in and make sure your elderly neighbors are ok.
- Offer to prep food and bring it over
We can do great things when we work together as a global community and help each other.
To keep up with how the virus is moving and affecting people, check out the Coronavirus Dashboard here.