As in most difficult or challenging times, we are about to see the best and worst of people. My husband, who is immunocompromised because he has sarcoidosis, had hand sanitizer on his desk. Someone he works with stole his hand sanitizer. I have no way of knowing if the person who took it was a healthy adult (so the impact of coronavirus would probably be mild), but even thinking that makes the theft worse.
My husband, a person at high risk for developing complications from COVID-19, tried to help his community avoid the virus by using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and someone stole it. It wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but we can’t replace the hand sanitizer. First, we can’t find a single store in our city or the cities of family and friends who have looked for it, that has any hand sanitizer on the shelves. All the online stores are either out or have raised the price to $50 for a small bottle.
We have two small bottles at home for personal use, and we can’t put one of them on his desk because if they keep getting stolen, we will be without any for our use, and my husband takes public transportation and needs to use the sanitizer a few times daily.
I am also worried about my dad, another high-risk person not just because of his advanced age, but because he has damage to his lungs due to emphysema. My dad lives in a small town in Washington State (not too close to Seattle – the epicenter of the infections in the United States), but still in Washington, and I can’t get any hand sanitizer to him. I have called his local stores, and looked at Instacart to have some delivered, etc. but the stuff is like gold right now.
Although I am discouraged by the theft from my husband’s desk, I am encouraged by other people. My friend went to every store in her small West Virginian town, trying to find hand sanitizer to send to my dad. My mom (divorced from my dad for over forty years) wanted to help me find this new liquid gold at her local stores in Tucson. So, in my estimation, people are stepping up and doing more good things than bad things. People are trying to help more than they are thinking only of themselves and their needs.
Let’s try to make a pact here to be the kind of people who help out instead of the type of people who would put our interests above anyone else’s. Let’s lend a hand whenever and wherever we are able in these times of stress, fear, and uncertainty. Let’s show our better natures and not the worst of who we can be.
When the COVID-19 outbreak is over, and we look back at who we were and what we did to get by, let’s make sure we can tell stories that make us all the heroes I know we can be.