COVID-19 pandemic is bringing neighbors together in acts of kindness

The stress of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can bring out the worse in some people, but it is also bringing out the best in others.

Neighbors set up pantry boxes

"We originally just started with a few rolls of toilet paper in there. I think we have a box of macaroni," said Heather Rutherig. "Hopefully if somebody is walking by, they are able to take what they need or fill it with what they don’t need."

Sharing with neighbors in need is something people are seeing more. Just down the street from Rutherig's home is another stocked pantry box.

"It's been a neat way to help a neighbor and lend a hand where we can," said Maggie Zehring.

On apps like Nextdoor, there are more examples of acts of random kindness, like a woman who had her elderly neighbor's lawn mowed for free just by putting out a request, and neighbors donating containers to a woman taking supplies to the Navajo Nation.

In short, people are helping strangers when and where they can.

"I think its just kind of exploded because, again, when we have the vast majority of humans want to give the extra that we have," said Ryan M. Sheade with Integrated Mental Health Associates.

Sheade, who is a licensed psychotherapist, says in this weird social environment, we can see the kindness more clearly.

"We hear about the unkindness, I think, sometimes, but the truth is sometimes, people can be very kind to each other," said Sheade. "If we're paying attention to it and that's what we're focusing on, us."

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) - How it spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQ (In Spanish/En Español)

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In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Stay home when you are sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

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