Just a short time ago, when the news about COVID-19 spread from overseas and across our country, Americans hit the stores and cleared the shelves of hand sanitizers, Clorox Wipes, cases of water and especially, toilet paper. The lines at the grocery stores are still longer than usual and recently, I was in one that was at least 30 people long.
While in line, I heard stories of how some of the customers were picking up groceries for their elderly parents, relatives and neighbors. As I got closer to the cashier, I witnessed a person who did not have a enough money to pay for some simple staples and the stranger behind them paid for the person's entire order. While at a different store, people who came in just to get one or two items were kindly given the offer to go ahead of others.
As most of you are aware, big and small businesses have begun to close. Some restaurants are attempting to remain open with carry-out and drive-thru services offered, while others have shut down for the time being. I have been trying to tip more in hopes of helping to put food on someone else’s table during this time of need. As always, we are encouraged to remember the small businesses and "Shop Local" along with the suggestion of purchasing gift cards now, to be used after the pandemic is over.
The news about lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) spread almost as quickly as the virus. The public's question of "What can we do to help?" was answered with Facebook posts of easy to sew patterns for homemade face masks to be donated to hospitals with diminishing supply levels. Joann Fabrics donated cloth, people bought supplies, sewers looked through their own stock and a home industry was born out of need and kindness.
U.S. manufacturers including General Motors and Ventec answered the call for ventilator production needed to stem the coronavirus crisis. Ford, 3M and GE teamed up together and retooled their operations to make some much needed personal protective gear for health care workers and ventilators for patients in acute respiratory distress. Thankfully, when Americans see the need, they want to jump in and help.
For people who tend to be caretakers, they feel the need for action, organizing or donating to the cause to make others feel better. In turn, their act of kindness for others helps make them feel better. Organizations have started making snack bags with treats and words of appreciation and are being given to encourage the medical staff at the hospitals to "hang in there!". Generous restaurant and fast food establishment owners have chosen to deliver thousands of pizzas and treats like Dilly Bars.
These are different times than any of us have ever experienced and there are certainly many ways to look at the situation. For myself, I would like to say that I hope that this time in our history will be talked about as the time that neighbors cared a little bit more about each other, that people reached out to those in need and that we all worked for the collective good. In the words of Desmond Tutu, "Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."
Stay Connected. Stay Active.
Special thanks to Betty Durochik, Program Specialist for writing this blog.
Resources: Franciscan Wellcare