The land of HELP is where a HERO walks. These men, women, and children were wonderful to watch on FB and in our ‘hood. Helpers act on purpose, acting fearlessly in a moment of altruism, which creates an affinity of united spirit. Neighborliness became contagious, as contentedly-estranged neighbors began to check in on elders, to buy groceries and to care, in any way they could.
On Saturday, March 21, I was the recipient of an incredible act of kindness. Two days prior our Governor had issued a ‘stay home’ order, so proper action wasn’t fully enmeshed into my habits. Our dear pharmacist pre-filled a medication intended to protect my lungs, which are mildly compromised by asthma. I was now stocked through mid-May when all hoped the worst would be done.
His act of kindness was unexpected. I didn’t make the request. When I thanked the man, his eyes crinkled in acknowledgment above his mask. It was a brief glance because his fingers remained at the computer in the pharmacy hole-in-the wall of a store, faithfully filling another pharmacy order, to help another person’s life be better.
He may have winked. I should have, as a bond.
My young acupuncturist continued my weekly Wednesday appointments through the corona-quarantine. The great kindness was that she maintained our schedule, despite the medically necessary business confining its days of operation to Tuesday and Thursday, so that “you don’t get exposed to all the people.”
A month later, my husband schmoozed our hairstylist into giving us haircuts. We looked and felt like shaggy dogs. It turned out that the young woman opened her shop one day/week, covert and clandestine. She risked a fine for keeping an unessential business open during quarantine but had a family to feed.
Our stylist almost cried as she told her story. Her husband had been let go from his high-powered job two weeks prior and her collegiate son was demanding college tuition for fall. She’d lost her two other shops in previous economic mayhem. Thank goodness the landlord of this one had released her from three months’ rent.
Her tears did flow when my husband paid for our haircuts – as well as next month’s. We committed to the future, reminding her that we would all be here. There would be another side from which we all would emerge, intact, from this pandemic.
My husband and I saw more of our neighbors than prior to Corona-cation. Though confined to our homes, we waved and smiled on trash day or when out of daily walks on the quiet cul-de-sac. It was clear that everyone craved interaction – we universally agreed we missed sharing tools, shaking hands, and hugs. Trust was sacrosanct. We knew that we’d keep each other safe.
A bond was formed – and persisted.