People are offering to shop for groceries for their elderly neighbors and those with underlying health conditions as they are most at risk of contracting the virus in public places.
With world governments attempting to curb the spread of COVID-19 across the globe, most of us have been confined to our homes to reduce exposure to the virus. Becky Hoeffler—a Duke University employee—was also told to work from home due to the coronavirus outbreak that claimed a total of 61 lives in the United States as of Monday morning stepped out of her house during her lunch breaks to go grocery shopping—but not for herself. Rather, Hoeffler dedicates her time to go on grocery runs for her elderly neighbors who are at a considerably higher risk of catching the virus.
Speaking to CBS 17, Hoeffler revealed that she was inspired to go on these errands after speaking to her grandfather. "The idea actually came about when I called my grandfather the other day," she said. "He told me, 'I’m on my way to the grocery store' and I was just kind of concerned because he's 91 and I thought, 'is there a reason you have to go to the grocery store?' So that’s what made me think, maybe I can go grocery shopping for others since I do live in a community that has several senior citizen neighbors."
An encouraging story, for those who need some positivity. Woman Starts Doing Grocery Runs for Older Neighbors to Reduce Their Exposure to the Coronavirus https://t.co/OE3nBRfwVI— T-Mobile Truck Nashville (@TMobileTruckTN) March 15, 2020
Hoeffler realized that by going on grocery runs for her elderly neighbors, she could minimize their chance of exposure and ensure that they stay healthy and safe. She then put a flyer up in her neighborhood to let her neighbors know that she's available to buy groceries for them and that she doesn't expect anything in return. So far, she has been on a couple of these grocery runs and hopes to do a lot more.
As we all go about living this new reality, please keep in mind that our elderly friends and neighbors are at greater risk of infection. Please, help others weather this Coronavirus storm. Our president may lack compassion for others . . . but we don’t. pic.twitter.com/2rxvZLUMGw— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) March 16, 2020
"Am I excited that I’m probably going to get a sweet loaf of banana bread from my neighbor, Patti, because of this, yes," she said. "Either way though, I think being able to help people and being able to help your neighbor is one of the most American things that you can do. I think utilizing people power is one of the best ways that we can combat the virus." Like Hoeffler, many others across the country have been devoting their time to helping out those in need in recent times. According to CBS Denver, a number of good samaritans have been offering to grocery shop for older people and those with underlying health conditions as they are most at risk of contracting the virus in public places.
Afraid to get sick as they are in their 80’s and hear that the novel coronavirus is affecting older people disproportionately. And that they don’t have family around to help them out. Through the crack in the window she handed me a $100 bill and a grocery list, and asked if I— Rebecca Mehra (@rebecca_mehra) March 12, 2020
I know it’s a time of hysteria and nerves, but offer to help anyone you can. Not everyone has people to turn to.— Rebecca Mehra (@rebecca_mehra) March 12, 2020
The heartwarming idea is said to have taken off after a woman posted online about an elderly couple in a store parking lot requesting her to pick up groceries for them as they were too afraid to go inside. "I thought 'Oh my gosh, how many people in my neighborhood are in the same situation?'" explained Kristin Fasy who lives near Washington Park. She revealed that as soon as she'd read the post, she posted on Nextdoor to let neighbors know she would be happy to pick up groceries for any older people worried about going to the store.
Folks, the supermarkets are a zoo. The aisles are empty. It’s getting so bad, If you know someone elderly, frail or home bound, offer to do their groceries. Don’t take more than what you need. Let’s think of others. Lets try to be kind to one another for at least a few days. pic.twitter.com/2YEtuA2597— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) March 13, 2020
"I feel healthy now and I want to be able to do something for people who might not have the ability to get out there," said Fasy. "I think when things feel scary and something like this where everything feels uncertain, it can be easy to forget to be neighborly." Tim Wren, another good samaritan, said he wants to spread kindness and is therefore willing to pick up and deliver any groceries for his neighbors in the city’s University neighborhood. "I know the older people are afraid and why not be on the front lines to help them out and keep them safe? Anything they need, I’ll go get it and they can just pay me back through cash, Venmo, anything like that," he said. Wren hopes that others will follow suit and remember that those in need may have no one else to turn to.
Twitter, do your thing.#PayItForwardChallenge— Iva Ivanković (@Ivuska____) March 15, 2020
If you have elderly or immunocompromised neighbours, help them out by going grocery shopping for them.
Put a sign in the hallway then nominate someone else to spread kindness.
Example from our building in Zagreb, Croatia: pic.twitter.com/EdoJzy3Aaz