The American people have always been tough, and when things get tough, as the saying goes, the tough get going.
This crisis — the coronavirus — is no different. After a stuttering start, when Americans weren’t really sure just how bad things might get, they’ve come together in an extraordinary way. And for every story about the greedy hoarding toilet paper and punching each other over the last jar of tomato sauce, there’s a story out there of an act of kindness selflessly performed by a caring American.
In Houston, Texas, for instance, a couple left a $9,400 tip at a restaurant. “Irma’s southwest restaurant in Houston, Texas, says a person came in on Monday after Harris county announced a mandatory shutdown of bars and nightclubs,” according to CBS17. “That’s when, restaurant employees say, a customer left them a $9400 tip.” The couple left a note on the receipt that read, ‘Hold tip to pay you guys over the next few weeks.’”
In San Diego, a Facebook group created to coordinate volunteer efforts — San Diego Community Volunteers — saw a massive influx of people offering to help, going from 50 members to more than 400 in a matter of days.
In Walnut Creek, Ca., outside San Francisco, a dentist is offering free emergency dental services — at home, since much of the state is on lockdown — to ease congestion at hospital emergency rooms, Yahoo! News reports. And there’s much more.
Further north, in the neighboring state of Oregon, the Shine Spirits distillery is turning byproduct into a hand cleaning solution with 80 percent alcohol. In the small town of Coos Bay, also in Oregon, coffee shop owner John Beane is hosting virtual story times for kids after shutting down his cafe. “We come from the theater and stories which are always a part of the shop,” Beane, the owner of So It Goes Coffeehouse, told AFP. … This was something we thought we might be able to do well for them.”
Then there’s Nathan Sheppard in Smithfield, N.C. Sheppard took to Facebook Live, playing guitar and asking for donations to help others, ABC-11 reported.
“In one day, Sheppard raised $235, which he used to tip a local waitress. By chance, that person ended up being SoDoSoPa [restaurant] worker Jessica Young, a single mother of three who is waiting for a new kidney and pancreas. ‘I cried,’ Young said. ‘I waited tables and bartended for quite a long time and nothing like that has ever happened so I was very gracious.'”
Meanwhile, in these dark days of the virus, others are literally lighting up the country. Even though it’s March, people are putting back up Christmas lights to make things less gloomy.
The movement began on Twitter, where one user wrote: “What if we all put our Christmas lights back up? Then we could get in the car and drive around and look at them. That seems like a fair social distancing activity.”
What if we all put our Christmas lights back up? Then we could get in the car and drive around and look at them. That seems like a fair social distancing activity.
— Lane Grindle (@lanegrindle) March 15, 2020
“For others though, hanging Christmas lights represents so much more,” wrote House Beautiful. “As Twitter user @lisastregis shares, the lights serve as a sign of hope in a particularly dark time. Lisa recounts how an elderly neighbor asked a friend’s husband to turn on their Christmas lights because of the darkness in the world right now. They obliged and ‘there are bright dancing Christmas lights now on in their neighborhood.’ She ends her post with the hashtag #CoronaKindness, a reminder for all of us to show a little extra love in these trying times.”
And President Donald Trump said in a White House briefing on Saturday: “We’re all one big beautiful American family.”