Jennifer Le giving out face masks in Singapore amid a shortage.

  • The corona outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China, has killed more than 4 200 people and infected over 118 000 in more than 100 countries.
  • People are carrying out acts of kindness in the midst of the outbreak, making get well soon cards for people in quarantine and repurposing food from cancelled events to feed first responders.
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The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has reached over 100 countries, infected over 118 000 people (most of them in China) and resulted in over 4 200 deaths.

Fear around public health emergencies like the coronavirus can bring out the worst in people, but it can also provide inspiring examples of people choosing to be kind.

Even in the midst of the crisis, people are making sure those in quarantine don't feel alone, and turning cancelled events into opportunities to give back.

Here are some recent instances of everyday people making the best of unfortunate situations.


Jennifer Le gave out face masks at a light rail station in Singapore when supplies ran low.

When Jennifer Le saw elderly people waiting hours in line outside pharmacies in Singapore to buy face masks, she decided to help. She ordered face masks from Vietnam and had them delivered to a friend there, who brought them to Singapore for her to distribute.

"I know a lot of people only care about themselves," she told Our Grandfather Story in a video on their YouTube channel. "Of course you must take care of yourself first. After you have enough, then you can help other people."


Students in Columbus, Nebraska, made get well soon cards for people in isolation.

Fourth, fifth, and sixth graders at St. Anthony's Home and School in Columbus, Nebraska, made get well soon cards for people affected by the coronavirus, according to the Columbus Telegram. Their teacher, Charlotte Beran, then mailed the cards to the University of Nebraska Medical Center to be distributed to those in quarantine.

The hospital posted a photo of the cards on its Facebook page, sharing how they brought joy to patients.

"We just heard from the folks in isolation here what a huge impact these made!" the hospital wrote. "'It was a real bright spot in my day. They were just so darling and heartfelt.'"


Representatives from Chabad of Westchester in New York went house to house in order to help quarantined families celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim.

New Rochelle resident Gary Berger said that Chabad of Westchester went to over 100 homes to read the megillah, a Hebrew book which observant Jews are obligated to hear chanted aloud on Purim. Since the households were under quarantine, Chabad representatives read the megillah outside on porches and in backyards.


Local Jewish communities sent care packages to Yeshiva University students in quarantine after a student tested positive for coronavirus.

Jonathan Schwab, Yeshiva University's associate director of housing and residence life, posted a photo on Facebook of hundreds of care packages delivered from nearby communities. The gift bags contained homemade baked goods, snacks, and challah and grape juice for use on the Sabbath for students stuck in the dorms.

"There are streams of students coming in to pick them up or getting them as we deliver around campus, students who've been under a lot of stress since Tuesday now with huge smiles on their faces, unable to believe the generosity and caring," he wrote in a Facebook post. "After spending a few days talking more about isolation than I ever thought I would, I'm feeling more connected and surrounded than ever."


When the 2020 Arnold Sports Festival was cancelled, organisers sent the prepared food to tornado victims and first responders in Nashville, Tennessee.

The 2020 Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio, is one of many cancelled events in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, but food for 200,000 attendees had already been prepared. Instead of throwing it away, organizers arranged for refrigerated trucks to deliver the food to Nashville, Tennessee, to feed those affected by tornadoes and first responders on the ground.


The captain of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, where coronavirus spread to over 700 passengers, was the last to leave the boat after making sure everyone had disembarked safely.

Passengers say Captain Gennaro Arma did his best to keep quarantined passengers on the Diamond Princess in good spirits with informative announcements, encouraging signs, and a sense of humor.

"Captain Arma was courageous, sympathetic and carried himself with dignity and optimism for what was an unprecedented and unique situation," passenger Aun Na Tan wrote in an Instagram post. "Through the entire journey, he sought to bring light to our circumstances and strove to reassure us as much as he could."

After two weeks docked in the port of Yokohama, Japan, he waited until all of the passengers had left the ship to disembark himself.

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