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The coronavirus pandemic is causing fear and hoarding of groceries. But it’s also inspiring beautiful acts of kindness around the nation.
Kindness and equity can be rare during times of panic.
But, even amid an unusual disease outbreak, people and organizations are showing that kindness is instrumental in caring for people and promoting survival and health equity in tough times.
“At a time of so much fear and uncertainty, these acts of kindness — for those committing and receiving them — are a desperately needed balm,” says Latina writer Helen Ubiñas of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “A unifying act of humanity that reminds us that we are all in this together.”
“And together is the only way we’ll get through it.”
Update 5/4/20: Check out how neighbors are taking care of neighbors during COVID-19 with an amazing mutual aid network!
Schools Giving Drive-Through Meals to Students Amid Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Schools districts are using curbside tactics to feed students while classes are canceled.
More than 2 in 3 U.S. students who regularly eat school lunches depend on a free or reduced-price school lunch as a main source of their daily nutrition, according to the School Nutrition Association, KTLA reports. Latino students struggle for healthy food options, according to a Salud America! research review.
Here are what some school districts are doing:
- In Houston (44.8% Latino), school districts are offering drive-through meal service.
- In San Francisco (15.2% Latino), 18 food pick-up sites are opening at schools across the city. They will provide free breakfast, lunch, and pantry items to all children 18 and younger. No proof of ID is required, but a child must be present. Families will not need to enter the school buildings to get food.
“We know that families are going to be coming in to get the school lunches,” said Paul Ash of the San Francisco Marin Food Bank, KGO reports. “At the same time we’re going to give them the opportunity to get groceries.”
Non-school leaders are helping, too.
Healthy food advocate Jenn Yates and chef David Guas are providing free, no-questions-asked meals to vulnerable families to prevent hunger while schools and restaurants are closed in Arlington, Virginia (15.8% Latino).
“The challenges for families related to coronavirus are just starting, and they are only going to grow,” Yates said.
Education Companies Offer Free Subscriptions Amid Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Lots of schools are closing to mitigate the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
So with educators and parents scrambling to help kids learn from home, some amazing educational companies are offering free subscriptions.
Discovery Education, for example, is offering free access to its Discovery Education Experience for the rest of the school year. The Experience is a platform with curriculum and personalized teaching strategies.
“When the world outside the classroom threatens the continuity of instruction, we believe it is critical that we support teachers in explaining events like the Coronavirus outbreak to students and support administrators in maintaining continuity in students’ learning,” said Scott Kinney, president of K-12 education at Discovery Education. “We will continue to monitor this event closely and look for ways to help educators everywhere prepare students for success, no matter where they are.”
See the full list of education subscriptions at kidsactivitiesblog.com.
Athletes Help Low-Wage Workers Amid Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The NBA, NHL, and MLS suspended operations due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
This has a big impact on stadium workers who earn low hourly wages.
So Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is planning to financially support people who won’t be able to come to work. NBA star Kevin Love is donating $100,000 to help Cleveland Cavaliers arena workers, CBS reports.
Rookie Zion Williamson is paying the salaries of basketball arena workers in New Orleans (5.5% Latino).
“These are the folks who make our games possible, creating the perfect environment for our fans and everyone involved in the organization,” Williamson wrote on Instagram.
“Unfortunately, many of them are still recovering from long term challenges created by Katrina, and now face the economic impact of the postponement of games because of the virus.”
Everyday People Help Neighbors Amid Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Never underestimate the impact one person can make.
Health advocate Héctor M. Ramírez is creating a food pantry for seniors and disabled people.
“As a disabled person, I am always planning for things. I feel very anxious about this COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. So I decided to do something … I am going to make food boxes for my senior and disabled neighbors and deliver them to their homes,” he said as part of a YouTube video.
Rebecca Mehra helped an elderly couple get food when they were too scared to go into a crowded grocery store because of the coronavirus outbreak, CBS reports.
The Boston Globe reported a lot of great individual and collective kindness.
Like Jesse Farren-James organizes trips to the grocery store and Costco for supplies.
“She posted the offer in a Facebook group for Hyde Park residents that boasts 3,000 members. She got some takers,” according to the Globe.
In New Jersey, the family of 11-year-old Jayden Perez bought some hand sanitizers in bulk at the end of February, reports bestlifeonline.
“His mother, Ana Rosado, told NorthJersey.com that Jayden ‘became concerned that some students didn’t have sanitizer because they were selling out everywhere,'” according to the report. “So he decided to donate 1,000 hand sanitizers to his local school district, and an additional 150 to the police station, fire department, and public library.”
Also, Dr. Ian Kremer, head of the LEAD Coalition, continues tackle Alzheimer’s disease amid the pandemic.
“I am deeply privileged to work with hundreds of organizations in our shared mission to improve life for people with #dementia,” Kremer tweeted.
What Can You Do to Spread Kindness During Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Public health is in the spotlight because of coronavirus.
Thus, this is also a good time to shine a light on health equity. Health equity is where everyone has a fair, just opportunity to be their healthiest.
Get a “Health Equity Report Card” to see how you can promote health equity in your area!
Select your county name and get a customized Health Equity Report Card by Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio. You will see how your area stacks up in housing, transit, poverty, health care, healthy food, and other health equity issues compared to the rest of your state and nation.
You can email your Health Equity Report Card, share it on social media, and use it to make the case for community change to boost health equity.