Here Are Some Of The Heroes Rising From The Coronavirus Pandemic

Mar 21, 2020, 2:13 PM
Taran and Calliope Tien play for their neighbor in self-isolation (Courtesy: Rebecca Tien)...
Taran and Calliope Tien play for their neighbor in self-isolation (Courtesy: Rebecca Tien)
(Courtesy: Rebecca Tien)

(CNN) — Children are out of school. Patrons are forgoing restaurants and flooding grocery stores. Millions have been ordered to shelter in place. The United States is facing an unprecedented crisis.

But from chaos comes heroes.

Despite so much uncertainty and with lives indefinitely upended, people and communities are still coming together to support one another. Here are some of the ways people are lending a hand through individual acts and large-scale efforts.

Feeding children who depend on school to eat

For millions of students, school closures mean no reliable access to meals.

Some districts have implemented plans to continue making food available to students who need it. But restaurants — some dealing with business loss because of the outbreak have also risen to help meet the need.

Restaurant owners in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, met to discuss what they were going to do to keep their businesses going as the pandemic restricted how they could serve customers, said Café Gelato owner Doug Lammers. Then, he said, the conversation turned to how they could help.

So, until further notice, his shop is offering meals to children in need.

And other establishments are reaching out to their communities in their time of need as well.

In Albany, New York, families can pick up a free cheese pizza every Tuesday through Friday at Nové Italian Restaurant, according to CNN affiliate WRGB. In Asheville, North Carolina, White Duck Taco Shop is giving any school-aged child a free taco Monday through Friday.

“Our family welcomes your family in this time of need,” said a post on Instagram signed by Laura and the White Duck Taco Shop family. “We can all get through this together.”

Contributing to hourly workers’ wages

Hourly workers, who don’t have sick days and whose jobs are threatened because of orders to shut down or limit the hours of restaurants, bars and stores, are already experiencing financial strain.

Customers have been digging into their pockets to help their servers weather the times.

Hours before Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Sunday that all restaurants and bars would be closed to dine-in patrons, a customer at Coaches Bar & Grill left a $2,500 tip, according to CNN affiliate WSYX.

The check specified that the tip on the $29.75 bill was to be split equally between five staff members, each specified by name.

And in Houston on Monday, a couple came in to dine at Irma’s Southwest restaurant and walked out having left $1,900 in cash on the table and another $7,500 tip on a credit card, restaurant owner Louis Galvan told CNN. The $9,400 tip was on a bill for $90.12.

The receipt said to “hold tip to pay your guys over the next few weeks.”

Split over 30 employees, that came out to about $300 each, Galvan said.

“They were amazed that a client would care enough about them to leave that amount to help them get through this tough time,” Galvan said.

Providing resources to those most affected

Jayde Powell is a “shopping angel.”

She and an army of volunteers are braving crowded, depleted supermarkets so those most vulnerable to coronavirus don’t have to.

“As a pre-med student, I know that people who are older or people who have heart, lung or immune conditions are especially at risk for contracting the virus,” Powell, a University of Nevada, Reno student, told CNN. “We’re doing this to try and reach out to people who might feel that they are just completely alone in this situation.”

The assistance goes beyond delivery. Powell has created a GoFundMe for older adults who can’t afford to get the things they need.

In Minnesota, healthcare workers who are pressed to serve more and more patients as the virus spreads have gotten help at home from University of Minnesota Medical School students.

Whether it is childcare, pet care, or grocery stores runs, MN CovidSitters pairs students with health care workers, including doctors, nurses, kitchen staff, janitors and hospital administrators, across the entire state to make sure they are taken care of.

What started with two second-year medical students became an operation with more than 280 students in three days.

“I’ve never met a lot of the people on this team and am convinced they are superheroes in disguise,” said Sara Lederman, one of the founding students. “Everyone’s superpowers are coming out. We are realizing so many of our classmates have incredible skills and talents that we didn’t know about until now.”

Restoring faith in humanity

Some people are using music to bridge the distance the outbreak has imposed on their communities.

When a neighbor in Columbus, Ohio, began self-isolating to protect herself from coronavirus, Taran Tien, 9, and his sister, Calliope, 6, sat on 78-year-old Helena Schlam’s porch — in a suit and a dress — and played a classical concert on their cellos.

“It was one of those moments where you feel like you’re a part of something incredible,” Rebecca Tien, the children’s mother, told CNN. “It was also a good way to remember the value of connection, especially at a time like this when everyone feels disconnected. Just to know we were a part of something so sweet, even just for a minute, meant a lot.”

For Emmanuel Maira Mallen and his wife, mariachi was the way to give back.

He woke up Saturday morning to a slew of frightening posts about coronavirus on his Facebook feed, he said. Hoping to brighten someone else’s day, the couple decided to hire a mariachi to play in a San Antonio area H-E-B grocery store.

The energy was tense when he (and the band) walked in, he said. The store didn’t know they were coming, and employees struggled to meet customers’ needs through an air of panic. No one was talking, he said. No one smiled.

But when the music began, he saw laughter and people began to dance. The whole atmosphere changed, he said. A video of the performance has been shared around Facebook, expanding the impact of his act beyond what he ever imagined.

“We wanted to do something small for our community and bring some laughter and now that it has reached millions of views, I’m pretty sure we put a lot of smiles on a lot of faces,” Mallen said.

Here are just some of the many Utahns helping the cause locally:

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus: Stronger Together

The lawn of Timpanogos Regional Hospital was adorned with flags to honor the lives lost to COVID-19...
Ashley Moser, KSL TV

Hospital ceremony honors survivors, healthcare heroes as U.S. hits one million COVID-19 deaths

The lawn of Timpanogos Regional Hospital was adorned with flags to honor the lives lost to COVID-19, those who survived it, and the caregivers and healthcare workers who cared for the sick.
6 days ago
Debbie Worthen, KSL TV

Utah County couple gives Minky Couture blankets to medical team at Utah Valley Hospital

Russell Greene doesn't call himself a COVID-19 survivor, he calls himself a COVID-19 miracle. His family thanked medical workers for saving his life.
2 months ago
Salt Lake City's streets were deserted in the early days of the pandemic. (KSL TV)...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

A reporter looks back on two years of pandemic in Utah

Two years ago on March 11, 2020, the world changed for many Americans as COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. Today, things are slowly getting back to normal. 
2 months ago
(KSL TV)...
Jed Boal, KSL TV

U Hospital staff ‘moving mountains’ to beat back omicron surge 

Unlike other parts of the country, the surge in omicron cases has not peaked yet in Utah. According to a top doctor at University of Utah Hospital, the facility was full, and staffing was thin but caregivers remained determined in their mission. 
4 months ago
The Window Rock formation is illuminated on March 17 in Window Rock, Arizona during an event to rem...
Heather Simonsen, KSL TV

Frontline health care workers of color bridge racial gap in time of COVID-19

Lack of trust and access to services has caused devastation during COVID-19 for Utah's communities of color.  
5 months ago
Intermountain Medical Center (KSL TV)...
Jed Boal, KSL TV

Intermountain Healthcare studies getting COVID-19 patients off ventilators quicker 

Mechanical ventilators are the last resort for COVID-19 patients when their lungs have been ravaged, and they can no longer breathe. However, the treatment comes with risks.  
6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Make Money Online Easily...

4 Ways that You Can Make Money Online Easily in Just a Few Clicks

Here are 4 ways that you can make money online easily in no time at all! Some are as simple as just a few clicks away.
tips to winterize your home...
Bonneville Digital SLC

Tips to Winterize Your Home | The Top 5 Ways You Can Prepare for the Cold Utah Winter Ahead

Before the snow hits, here are the top 5 tips to winterize your home to prepare for the cold Utah winter this year.
Here Are Some Of The Heroes Rising From The Coronavirus Pandemic