The worldwide crisis relating to the coronavirus and the disease it causes — COVID-19 — has caused widespread panic and alarm. People are anxious, and rightfully so. All that panic, alarm, and anxiety can bring out the worst in people…. but sometimes the best in people, too.
The Nature of The Virus
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the coronavirus is passed between people in close contact by the spread of respiratory droplets. Those droplets are distributed when an infected person coughs or sneezes. They can remain on surfaces, and be transferred into our lungs when we touch that tainted surface and then touch our face. One study says people touch their faces 23 times per hour!
The nature of coronavirus and the way it spreads has meant a lot of things, but here are two in particular: people are being urged — and in many places required — to socially distance themselves by isolating, quarantining, or just keeping two arm’s lengths away from others. People are also being encouraged to wash their hands. A lot!
Our worst human instincts in cases of a pandemic are to hoard and hide. Those instincts have played out all over the country. There have been countless media reports of emptied store shelves and long lines for basic supplies. Everywhere one goes, you find limits on the number of cartons of milk, loaves of bread, and other staples that you can buy. The reasonable goal is to make sure everyone has enough. One consequence, though, is that people wonder whether there will be enough to see us through.
Stories about people who started hoarding early and are now exploiting their neighbors by selling needed supplies at sky-high prices are adding anger to the rampant anxiety. In this pandemic era, toilet paper (for all the cocooning) and hand sanitizer (for all the hand-washing), are practically gold. There’ve even been reports of people paying for coffee with toilet paper!
That’s Enough Of The Worst Of People… What About The Best?
There are some people who are forced to work through the worst of the pandemic, at great personal sacrifice. Think of medical personnel, emergency services workers, food service workers, and delivery drivers. All that online shopping means lots of deliveries and lots of delivery drivers handling lots of packages from all over the country. They’re invisible heroes.
YouTuber and filmmaker Evan Era wanted to honor the hard work and sacrifices made by some of those invisible heroes, the delivery drivers. He did so with some of the most valuable items he could think of in this time of pandemic — toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
Era set up a pile of toilet paper and hand sanitizer on his porch, and added a sign inviting delivery drivers to help themselves: “Delivery drivers: Take it if you need it! Thank you for your hard work!” A video of Era’s gesture and one driver’s reaction to it is circulating online. On @theshaderoom’s Instagram feed, the video has been viewed 3,479,726 times in just three days. Check it out below:
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#PressPlay: #TSRPositiveImages–Man lays out some toilet paper & hand sanitizer for delivery drivers during the covid-19 pandemic! 🎥: @evanrosenman _____________________________________ He shares that he’s always bought in bulk prior to the pandemic and he therefore had more than he needed, so he wanted to take care of the people who are taking care of him! Come through selflessness!! 👏🏾
You can tell from the video just how touched, surprised, and grateful the driver is at Era’s gesture. That’s wonderful. Era’s gesture really is a generous and positive one in a time of so much chaos. Kinda sad, though, that the driver seems so surprised and taken aback that someone would do it.
There’s no use putting your head in the sand. Coronavirus and COVID-19 are serious threats that we need to take seriously. But neither should we drown ourselves in our stresses. There is goodness and joy to be found. Don’t go wandering from porch to porch looking for it though. Stay socially distant! But while you’re online, keep an eye out for generosity and grace; you might just find things like this: a community applauding its health care workers.
Now go spread it! The love you find, not the virus! (Wash your hands first.)
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