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People are making grocery runs for elderly neighbors to protect them from coronavirus

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.

People are making grocery runs for elderly neighbors to protect them from coronavirus
Image Source: Getty Images (Representative)

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."


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.


"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.



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.


"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.


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