5 Inspirational Acts of Kindness Amid the Worldwide COVID-19 Fight

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Though the COVID-19 outbreak has been a difficult trial for everyone around the world, many communities and companies have stepped up to spread positivity, and inspire us to take care of ourselves, and each other, while we work through this time together.

Retailers Worldwide Introduce Special Hours

Photo: Hitra
Photo: Hitra

Amidst bouts of panic buying and hoarding, retailers around the world have moved to protect their most vulnerable patrons by offering special hours for the elderly, immunocompromised, and frontline responders. In addition to reminding customers to only purchase what they need, retailers like Tesco and Sainsbury’s in Europe, and Costco, Target, and Walmart across America are also dedicating up to two hours before their official opening hours for the elderly, immunocompromised, and frontline responders to shop while exposing themselves to fewer people than they’d otherwise have to. These stores have also put social distancing measures in place, and are monitoring the number of customers to avoid any in-store congestion.

Distilleries are Making Free Hand Sanitizer

There’s no substitute for handwashing, but applying a liberal amount of hand sanitizer will do if you’re in a pinch. Since the outbreak, hand sanitizers have been wiped off the shelf, and retailers have been left out of stock or in low supply. In response, hundreds of distillers across America have stepped up and switched gears by using their alcohol to create their own sanitizer solutions. Atlanta’s Old Fourth Distillery concocted a 95% ethanol and aloe vera blend, while Georgia based Moonrise Distillery combined botanical gin with aloe vera. Distillers have generously distributed bottles to the public for free, as well as funnelled their donations to healthcare facilities.

Airbnb is Providing Free and Subsidized Housing for Healthcare Professionals

Photo: AlesiaKan

Airbnb piloted an initiative to help provide accommodation for healthcare professionals who’ve either returned home to serve their local communities, or who needed to leave their residences in order to keep a safe distance from their families while still being close to their patients during this fight against COVID-19. Airbnb first launched this project in France and Italy, and invited hosts across these two countries to offer their homes for free or at subsidised rates, and successfully housed over 6,000 healthcare professionals. Now, Airbnb has expanded this program globally, and aims to accommodate a total of 100,000 first responders. Both hosts and guests must follow a set of strict cleaning guidelines during this period.

UK Hotel Rooms Donated to NHS Workers

To inspire the hospitality industry to show support during tough times, former Manchester United captain, Gary Neville, and teammate Ryan Giggs block booked both of their co-owned Manchester hotels for the next few months in order to house National Health Service staff for free. The closure of city center’s Stock Exchange, and Hotel Football close to the Old Trafford stadium, freed up 176 beds for frontline responders, and remain fully staffed so they can operate as normal to provide a comfortable setting for overburdened healthcare professionals during the fight against the coronavirus.

Handwashing Stations for the Homeless

Health officials have repeatedly reminded the public to practice frequent handwashing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but with the closure of public spaces like libraries and park restrooms, the challenge of accessing clean water leaves the homeless population extremely vulnerable to the virus. Terrence Lester, board member of Love Beyond Walls, a Georgia based nonprofit that advocates for the homeless and poverty stricken, built hand-washing stations and installed them in needy communities in and around metro Atlanta. Each station is equipped with soap and holds between five and 10 gallons of water, and Lester and his team tirelessly clean and refill each station everyday. Lester’s initiative has inspired New York City, Texas, Austin, and Oakland, among others to follow suit and provide portable sinks for the homeless population.

Photo: Imagesines/ShutterStock

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