Professional track athlete, Rebecca Mehra, tweeted about her random act of kindness amidst the COVID-19 chaos. To her surprise, the tweet went viral and has since inspired thousands of people around the world, bringing perspective to many who may not have felt the impacts of the health crisis previously.
While the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to escalate, fatality rates among young people have remained low. With the statistics showing the likelihood of serious illness increasing drastically with age, many people below 65 have not been as personally affected as the elderly.
Rebecca faced this heartbreaking reality first-hand when she was making a standard supply run to the grocery store. In a story by The Orange County Register, she outlined her experience. On her way into the grocery store, Rebecca heard someone trying to get her attention. When she turned to look, she saw an older woman waving her over from a parked car. The woman explained, “My husband and I have been waiting here for a while. The first case of the Coronavirus just hit town, and we’re nervous to go to the grocery store. We know that the virus is disproportionately affecting older people, and it could be deadly for us, so we’re scared to go inside.”
When asked how this affected her, Rebecca said, “I was just taken aback. I mean, during these crazy times, you think so much about yourself and your own situation. All my track meets are being canceled and my gym isn’t open.” While these things are an inconvenience, Rebecca went on to explain that she had not yet feared for her life as a result of the health crisis. Speaking with this woman brought a new perspective to the issue, “that there are people for whom this situation is just a lot more dire than it is for me.”
The elderly woman went on to ask Rebecca if she would mind picking up a few groceries for her and her husband. Moved by the request, Rebecca happily took the grocery list and money handed to her by the couple, returning promptly with their groceries and change.
Surprised by the publics’ response to her Tweet, Rebecca illustrated the importance of spreading hope and inspiring kindness during times of crisis. Her experience points to the impact that a simple helping hand can have on those less fortunate than you.
Global emergencies, like the one we are facing now with COVID-19, can feel overwhelming and scary. However, they also have this beautiful ability to unify us all towards a common goal. We are in this together. And it’s acts of kindness and service like Rebecca’s that will continue to light our way as we navigate this unknown. Thank you Rebecca, for the reminder!