Watching hoarders as they empty the shelves of supermarkets, grocery stores and pharmacies as COVID 19, the coronavirus pandemic, takes its toll on daily life in our communities, it is easy to assume that a crisis brings out the worst in people. But, the fact is it can bring out the best in us, as well.
Take the story of a pair of brothers in Hixson, Tennessee, who sought to corner the market for hand sanitizers, antibacterial wipes and face masks in the early days of the potentially deadly disease. The New York Times reported that during the three days after the first death was announced on Feb. 29 one of them set out on a 1,300 mile road trip through Tennessee and Kentucky filling a U-Haul truck with the loot. The other brother stayed home listing the stuff on Amazon at exorbitant prices as high as $70.
As Times reporter, Jack Nicas, put it in his article: “To him, ‘it was crazy money.’ To many others, it was profiteering from a pandemic.”
The good news is that the brothers got their comeuppance. Tennessee’s Attorney General was quick to issue a cease and desist order and Amazon quickly shut them down leaving the boys sitting on nearly 18,000 bottles of hand sanitizer with no way to unload them at a profit.
Meanwhile, there are heartwarming stories of kindness that have begun to emerge throughout the country about neighbors helping neighbors. Many are taking to social media to rouse the good guys to act at this time of crisis.
One woman on Facebook posted a notice offering to shop for seniors in her community and neighboring communities who are house-bound as a result of the COVID epidemic. Caring messages and posts are showing up throughout the social media world. They offer to provide caregiver services for those who might need it and necessities such as medical supplies.
One out-of-towner contacted a deli in Detroit and put up cash for a take-out order for a “worthy charity or person [all your call].”
Here are a few things that you can do to help during the COVID crisis:
In other words, become a good guy and come to the rescue if you are able. Don’t be a hoarder; be a helper.
Rebecca Webber is CEO of the Association of Mature American Citizens.