TAMPA, Fla. - In these times of social distancing and quarantines, we’re seeing acts of kindness from around the world lifting the spirits of friends and neighbors -- from a distance of at least 6 feet.
Sherri Cook’s husband, Gary has an aggressive form of multiple myeloma. Under strict quarantine to avoid contracting COVID-19, and unable to find antibacterial products, she tried to make her own sanitizer.
“Then I couldn’t locate alcohol, then I couldn’t locate aloe gel, and it got scary,” Cook said.
But thanks to a Facebook group, that all changed within minutes. Jess Murphy, who runs “Buy Nothing: Trinity Florida,” wrote a post asking for help.
“Within seven minutes, I would say, it was done,” Murphy said.
She helped organize the effort to deliver all of the items to Sherri, who said she was overwhelmed.
“It was like the sanitizing fairy landed on the front porch! I had bleach, I had bleach, I had Lysol, I had hand sanitizers, I had alcohol,” she said. “I came home the other night, and there was a brown paper bag on my front porch and it had toilet paper in it.”
From cleaning to education, lots of folks are pitching in and lending others a virtual hand.
Jessica Lynn Kisiel, dressed as Rapunzel, made a video for children.
“Repunzel I think really spoke to the message of being confined and being unable to do what your heart wants. It was mostly about understanding that this will end,” she said.
Disney princess by night -- and by day, Kisiel spends time greeting children in hospitals and has several Disney princess costumes because of it.
“Whether it’s a Disney princess or a superhero, it makes a child feel safe, and it makes them feel like they know you, and can trust what you’re telling them,” she said.
Then there’s 17-year-old Aryan Patel, who wanted to continue educating, despite quarantines, by tutoring math students for free.
“I wanted to provide free online tutoring to either those who are struggling with math or need help with it,” Patel said.
The high school junior says he already has several students signed up.
And for those nurses on the front lines, Dana Joy has made dozens of handmade cards to deliver to hospitals. An avid crafter, she worked with local company My Favorite Things, ordering a stamp to make each card from scratch.
“I thought it would just be a good way to tell them we’re thinking about them, we’re praying about them, and we’re hoping they get through this just like the rest of us,” Joy said.
She plans to get to about 100 cards before sending them out.
If you feel sick:
The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.
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