10 Random Acts of Socially Distant Kindness in the Time of COVID-19

Even though most people are sheltering in place, they're still finding ways to help those in need and cheer up their neighbors.

Robin Zlotnick - Author

Mar. 25 2020, Updated 1:51 p.m. ET

All around the world, people are experiencing the dire consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many of us are sheltering in place and doing our best not to spread the virus, we still long for human connection, and there are still many out there in vulnerable positions who rely on the kindness of others. 

People everywhere have been stepping up and performing random acts of kindness (the socially distant kind, of course!) to help those in need, cheer up their friends and neighbors, and remind us all that there is still good out there. 

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Two diners left a $1,000 tip on their brunch bill.

Georgia and Hattie Grace know that those still working in the restaurant business are putting themselves at risk to make sure people get fed. To show their appreciation for the staff of Eggstasy, a brunch restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona, they left a $1,000 tip on their $69.91 bill. 

Chances are restaurants like Eggstasy will have to reduce the hours of some of their staff and will struggle to stay open. This generous tip will allow the restaurant's managers to continue to support their staff during this fraught time.

One family provided bags of food to another family in need.

Well, this made me want to cry. Health people all over are volunteering to shop and pick up supplies for people who are not able to go out on their own for whatever reason. That's exactly the kind of support we need to be providing for each other right now. 

Many elderly people or people with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses cannot shop for themselves because they are extremely at risk. I'm hearing lots of stories of healthy people standing up and shopping for their neighbors in need. And it's beyond heartwarming.

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Teachers and staff from an elementary school led a car parade to cheer on their students.

How delightful is this? Could you even imagine being a little kid during this pandemic? It's probably terrifying and confusing and strange. To have that support from the people you look up to is such a joyful, helpful thing. 

The car parade probably worked wonders for parents and the teachers themselves, too! It can't be easy to try to keep it all together for your kids while being constantly bombarded with horrible news. This unbridled celebration was probably sorely needed.

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This neighborhood organized a bear hunt.

In an effort to keep the kids in the neighborhood occupied, the people of Laveen, Arizona organized a "Bear Hunt." They called on everyone in the neighborhood to put teddy bears in their windows to entertain and cheer up kids in town. It's important to get outside and stay active while everyone is stuck at home, and this is a great, cheerful way to make walks through the neighborhood way more exciting. Not going to lie, I'd probably be excited by a "Bear Hunt" even as an adult.

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One woman made nearly 100 face shields to donate to a hospital.

Because the government has failed to invest adequately in obtaining protective gear for hospital workers, individuals all over the world are stepping up. This woman worked hard to make nearly 100 face shields. Others are sewing their own face masks or going around collecting any extra masks that people might have lying around. People are really stepping up for our healthcare workers, whose work is so critical during this time.  

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One dad dropped off fresh food for healthcare workers in a hospital's NICU.

His note reads, "Hello NN_ICU. You saved my daughter's life and I think about you often. I never know how to say thank you. Hopefully the things in here are useful — lots of 'fresh' stuff. Love, one dad (probably of many). 

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, there are still babies in the NICU, new mothers giving birth, and healthcare workers who are putting themselves in danger every day to provide essential care to those who need it. 

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Someone posted a sign to thank healthcare workers for their efforts.

Thank your healthcare workers. Thank your grocery store workers. Thank your food delivery people. Thank your sanitation workers. Thank anyone who is still working in order to keep us comfortable and safe and fed and healthy during this time. 

It may seem like a small thing, but these people are being harassed and mistreated on a daily basis by scared people who don't understand why there are no tests for the virus or toilet paper on the shelves. They deserve our utmost appreciation for their work.

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This family offered a whole table of staple grocery items for free.

While I'm not sure why this family had so many eggs, apples, and potatoes at the same time, it's really nice that they're offering them up to anyone who needs them for free. The pandemic has led to extreme panic-buying, and many people who can't go shop themselves or can't afford to hoard supplies are not getting what they need to survive. 

So, PSA: Buy only what you need for a couple of weeks. Do not hoard. And offer things to those who need them for free when you can.

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This neighborhood came up with a plan to help their elderly neighbors.

This entire street of elderly residents has added green paper to their windows to let everyone know that they are all set. When they change the paper to red, that means they are in need of help to secure supplies, medication, etc. This really is an amazing idea for helping the elderly or people with disabilities or illnesses.

It can be hard to ask for help, especially when it means potentially putting someone else at risk. This way, volunteers can step up whenever they are needed.

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Kids posted signs of encouragement in their windows.

This simple reminder that people are considering each other, thinking of each other, and here to help each other can do wonders for your attitude. 

The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented world crisis. Most of us have never been through anything like this before, and it's terrifying. To be reminded that in times of distress, people have the capacity to come together and support each other unconditionally is a really beautiful thing.

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