(TMU) — As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread across the globe, a number of supermarkets around the world have committed to hold dedicated shopping hours for elderly people and those with disabilities or compromised immune systems.
The move to offer special hours to the most vulnerable communities comes as panic buying due to spread of CoViD-19 has resulted in empty stores filled with shelves entirely stripped of products including toilet paper, dried pasta, canned tuna, and other shelf-stable items.
Stores reportedly offering the elderly-only shopping hour include the Woolworths retail chain in Australia; Altadena, California’s Grocery Outlet; Fields Foods in St. Louis, Missouri; Lunds & Byerlys in Minnesota; and branches of British retailer Iceland.
The stores are each offering an hour in the morning during which vulnerable shoppers will have exclusive access to the store, ensuring that they are able to stock up on essential groceries and other supplies without having to deal with large crowds of frightened, younger, able-bodied shoppers jostling and fighting for goods.
We’re launching a dedicated shopping hour in our stores to help support the needs of the elderly & people with disability in the community. From tomorrow until at least friday, we’ll be opening exclusively for them to shop from 7-8am, where permitted.
— Woolworths (@woolworths) March 15, 2020
In a statement, Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director Claire Peters said:
“While we’ll continue to do our very best to restock our stores during this period of unprecedented demand, we know many of our elderly customers have been missing out on essential items when they shop.
This temporary measure will give them, and those with a disability, the opportunity to shop before our stores officially open, helping them obtain the essential items they need most in a less crowded environment.
We continue to encourage all Australians to be mindful of those in our communities who might need extra help at this time.”
British retailer Iceland also announced that some stores would open an hour early to allow elderly shoppers to stock up on essential products. While the move is not a company policy, the company told BBC that it would allow individual stores to open earlier if it suits the needs of local shoppers.
In a statement shared on the Facebook page of the Iceland store at The Kennedy Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the retailer noted:
“Iceland Foods at Kennedy Centre will be opening their store between 8-9am for the elderly commencing Tuesday 17th March.
Could the wider public please respect this hour, and understand that this time is allocated for elderly people only. Iceland appeal to people’s better nature when realising who needs priority.”
The statement, which has since been shared thousands of times online and received widespread positive feedback, has been hailed by shoppers concerned by how vulnerable communities have been impacted during the crisis resulting from the novel virus.
One commenter wrote:
“Well done Iceland for taking a stand. Well done for now trying a different approach to make sure those most vulnerable are able to get a chance to buy what they need.”
Iceland Foods at Kennedy Centre will be opening their store between 8-9am for the elderly commencing Tuesday 17th March….
Medical authorities including the Centers for Disease Control have issued grave warnings that while the novel coronavirus can infect anyone, adults older than 60 and people with severe chronic illness are most likely to become seriously ill from CoViD-19.
Older adults who are over the age of 80 also face a severe threat from the spreading virus. According to a report published in medical journal JAMA, the overall fatality rate among roughly 72,000 Chinese coronavirus patients was 2.3 percent. However, among adults over 80, the fatality rate rose to 15 percent.
Keanu Reeves Praised As Video of Him Offering Seat to Lady in Subway Resurfaces
Keanu Reeves is an actor who has long been loved by audiences —and not necessarily due to his acting skills, but due to how nice the John Wick star is.
And now, Reeves is once again earning praise as a “true gentleman” after resurfaced video footage shows Reeves giving up his seat on the subway.
The clip was shared by Instagram film fan account Cinemonkeys where it has since earned nearly 45,000 likes.
The video footage dates back to 2011, when it was shared on YouTube by a user of the video-sharing platform.
At the time, Reeves was already a superstar riding on the fame he earned from the Matrix, Speed, and a number of other blockbuster hits.
When Reeves notices a woman carrying a heavy bag, he quickly points to his seat and asks if she would like to sit. The woman accepts and Reeves gets up without hesitating to let her take his seat.
Reeves, ever the model citizen, then stands and holds onto a subway pole while carrying his bag.
The video has since been watched over 27 million times and was even cited in a 2019 Time magazine profile of the actor describing Reeves as the “soul mate” of the internet.
The resurfacing of the clip on Instagram once again impressed users of the platform.
“This human being’s soul honestly shines so bright,” wrote one user.
“OMG I love him in every single way,” another person commented.
“His kindness knows no bounds,” commented someone else.
Keanu is set to reprise his role as Neo in the upcoming fourth Matrix film directed and written by Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the earlier trilogy with her sister Lilly. He will also return to the silver screen in John Wick: Chapter 4, which will be released in 2022.
Drunk Man Rescues Injured Baby Bird By Sending It To Animal Shelter… In An Uber
An injured baby bird received a new lease on life after a young man who was inebriated had the good sense to send the little creature to an animal shelter because he and his friends were too drunk to drive.
In the Summer of 2019, a small lesser goldfinch suddenly appeared by itself at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. The center’s chairman, Buz Marthaler, was notified by a volunteer who sent him a photo.
“It was a picture of this bird, and it had come by Uber,” Marthaler told FOX13. “It was just crazy.”
As it turns out, the tiny bird – which was only two weeks old – indeed rolled up to the site by its lonesome, the sole passenger in an Uber vehicle called by concerned citizens who found the injured creature.
Among those good Samaritans was Tim Crowley, who had been “day drinking” on that Saturday before he and his buddies witnessed the little bird fall from the sky.
“Impromptu, sitting in some camp chairs, hanging out, having a few drinks when we had a visitor fall out of the sky,” he explained.
Crowley then snapped a photo of the bird and sent it to the WRCNU, which instructed him to immediately bring the bird in. However, the group obviously couldn’t drive since they had been guzzling booze all day.
So Crowley decided he’d hail a cab for the creature.
“At first it was a joke, like, ‘Hey, maybe we should just call Uber!’” he said. “Then we were like, ‘No, really. Why not? We’re paying them.’”
As it turns out, the bird – since named “Petey Uber” by staff at the rescue center – likely would have perished if not for Crowley’s quick thinking.
Marthaler remains impressed by Crowley’s move and shared the news on its Facebook page.
“While we feel we’ve seen it all and can’t be amazed by anything, there is always someone out there to prove us wrong,” the shelter’s post read. “Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well.”
Binx the Cat, Who Survived Florida Condo Collapse, Found and Reunited With Family
Amid the tragedy of last month’s collapse of a South Florida condo building, there was a tiny bit of good news when a cat named Binx, who lived on the ninth floor of the Surfside building, was found safe and returned to his family.
“I’m glad that this small miracle could bring some light into the lives of a hurting family today and provide a bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava in a Friday press conference, reports NPR.
Levine Cava explained that a volunteer who feeds street cats in the area recognized the cat near the building before bringing him to an animal shelter, where it was then identified.
Gina Nicole Vlasek, the co-founder of the The Kitty Campus rescue group, posted on Facebook that a black cat had been found near the rubble of the group before it was brought to the shelter on Thursday night.
“We are so grateful to be able to help in any small way,” Vlasek said.
“All we needed was a ray of hope in this tragedy,” she continued. “Today was one of the most amazing days.. one of the survivors came to see the cat and to determine if it was her families cat and IT WAS!”
The mayor said that animal control workers are continuing to work to recover any pets that may have survived the horrible collapse.
The 12-story Surfside condo collapsed on June 24. At least 79 people have been confirmed dead, with 61 additional residents remaining unaccounted for.