Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 28 October 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Acts of kindness in the wake of coronavirus: 8 ways people have been paying it forward

From paying affected staff's salaries to rescuing trapped pets, the spread of Covid-19 has resulted in many positive acts of selflessness

People have been paying it forward with kindness amid the coronavirus pandemic by feeding pets, handing out supplies and paying wages of those affected. 
People have been paying it forward with kindness amid the coronavirus pandemic by feeding pets, handing out supplies and paying wages of those affected. 

As the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, with cities in lockdown and travel restrictions imposed, it feels like every day brings despairing new headlines.

The total number of Covid-19 cases worldwide reached 169,387 on Monday, with more than 77,000 recoveries. The death toll sits at 6,513.

However, amid the pandemic, many across the world have been finding ways to help those affected by the virus.

Below, we've rounded up eight ways in which people have been paying it forward.

Two Hollywood stars stump up $1 million

Celebrities dressed in Versace at the Met Gala *** Local Caption *** Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds.jpg
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds have donated to two food bank organisations

Actors Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively have announced they will donate $1 million (Dh3.67m) to two organisations to help older adults and low-income families. The celebrity couple will split the amount between Feeding America and Food Banks Canada, they revealed on social media.

"Remember the love that can travel through all this. Communities are stepping up, shopping for the elderly, making lunches for children," wrote Lively." We can all do something for one another, even if that's simply staying home."

Supermarkets start dedicated shopping hours for the vulnerable

People shop at a Woolworths supermarket in Sydney on March 17, 2020. Australia's elderly were let in early to supermarkets on March 17, but coronavirus panic buying still proved too much in some areas, with reports of empty shelves and large queues. / AFP / PETER PARKS
Woolworths supermarkets have introduced elderly-only shopping time slots. AFP

With the elderly one of the most at risk groups when it comes to the coronavirus, many are facing self-isolation. However, in a bid to keep them safe while allowing them to carry out essential errands, supermarkets around the world have launched dedicated shopping hours for the elderly only. Woolworths in Australia, Iceland in the UK and Lidl in Ireland are among the organisations that have introduced time slots allowing older shoppers to gain early access to food and services, immediately after stores have been cleaned.

Sports stars band together to support arena staff

In the wake of all National Basketball Association games being suspended for at least 30 days, support staff at venues who work on hourly rates faced reduced income. However, stars of the sport have stepped up to help financially support those affected. The Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Love was among the first to pledge support, donating $100,000 (Dh367,000) to help "arena and support staff that had a sudden life shift due to the suspension of the NBA season".

"The folks at the arena are like family to me and I am grateful," Love posted on Instagram. "If you are anything like me, you may be justifiably stressed and worried about the impact coronavirus will have on all of us."

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, New Orleans Pelicans' Zion Williamson and Detroit Pistons star Blake Griffin are among the other basketball pros to follow in Love's footsteps and donate to the cause.

Fashion labels also make a financial stand

Sports stars weren't the only big names putting their hands in their pockets in a bid to help those affected by Covid-19. Fashion designer Donatella Versace on Friday donated €200,000 (Dh818,674) to the intensive care department of the San Raffaele hospital in Milan.

“Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected by this disease and to all the doctors and medical staff who have been working heroically non-stop in the past weeks in the effort to take care of our loved ones," she posted on Instagram. "This is when we, as a society, need to stand together and care for one another."

Italian influencer Chiara Ferragni has also made a €100,000 donation to the San Raffaele hospital.

Giorgio Armani, meanwhile, donated €1.25 million to a number of Italian hospitals and organsations helping fight the spread of the virus earlier this month. Beneficiaries included Milan's Luigi Sacco and San Raffaele hospitals as well as the country's civil defence service.

British woman helps pay it forward

Becky Wass just wanted to do her bit to help those in her home town affected by the pandemic, but her novel idea has ended up inspiring others across the globe to follow in her footsteps. The Falmouth lecturer created a printable PDF that can be downloaded and filled out, and is designed for those self-isolating to ask for help. The postcard allows those who are less confined to their home to fill in their contact details, and slip it through neighbouring postboxes. Those who need assistance in picking up groceries, running errands, or just want a friendly phone call to stem loneliness can then get in touch.

"I’ve been feeling pretty helpless watching the news. Maybe you have too? I wanted to do something about it, so I’ve made a postcard that I’ll be posting to my older neighbours as this progresses (after washing my hands!)," Wass said. "If just one person feels less lonely or isolated when faced with this pandemic, then I’ll feel better about it (I hope!)."

The streets of Italy come alive with the sound of music

With the nation placed in lockdown, isolated residents have taken to singing from their windows, filling empty streets with tuneful melodies.

Events have been cancelled, schools closed, travel restricted and many businesses closed in the European country, one of the nation's most affected by the spread of the coronavirus.

One recording in the Tuscan city of Siena has been viewed over 3.7 million times on Twitter, while another rendition of Lewis Capaldi's chart-topper Someone You Loved even scored a retweet from the Scottish musician.

Animal lovers take drastic steps to save pets

When the Chinese city of Wuhan was locked down last month in a bid to further prevent the spread of the virus, many residents were placed in quarantine and others prevented from returning home after Lunar New Year celebrations.

The move didn't just affect people, with some pets left home alone, prompting worried owners and kind strangers to take to social media to ensure left-behind animals were looked after.

The hashtag "save the pets left behind in Wuhan" became the third-most searched term on the Twitter-like Weibo platform, with users able to give good Samaritans access to their homes so they could feed their animals. Groups such as the Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association and Wuhan Pet Life have also been breaking down doors to rescue pets.

Woman comes to the aid of Singapore's elderly

When she noticed crowds of older men and women forced to queue outside pharmacies and stores for three to four hours in order to buy a protective face mask, Singapore resident Jennifer Le decided to take matters into her own hands. The Vietnamese national ordered tens of masks online, and gave them out for free at the city's Sengkang station. "It doesn't matter if you're Vietnamese, Singaporean or Thai," she told YouTube channel Our Grandfather Story. "We may be different in nationalities, but we're all just people."

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Read more:

Coronavirus: everything you need to know about Covid-19 in the UAE

Coronavirus: Dubai closes theme parks, cinemas and gyms

Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi closes Louvre and other major attractions

Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi closes all cinemas, beaches and parks

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Updated: March 17, 2020 10:24 AM

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