On March 6, I received an official memo at work informing us that offices would be shut down and everyone was to work from home until further notice.
Due to significant health concerns related to a speedy spread of a deadly virus, offices will be shut down, and everybody will be asked to work from home till further notice.
Everyone started packing up and leaving.
Out of fear of what might happen, I drove to the nearest grocery store to collect as much as possible before it closed. The lines were huge, and the shelves were almost empty; there weren’t even any carts left to use!
I had never seen such an arena before.
Still in shock, I grabbed anything and everything in sight.3–4 packets of cereals, oatmeals, toilet paper, fruits, frozen pizzas, etc. Oh, Lord! My cart was not enough. My phone was beeping with news notifications and slack messages from office chats. It was a menace.
The Chicken was out…the cheese was out… there were no crackers!!
Milk !!! Oh no!! I need milk. My son loves milk and will not go to bed without it. When I arrived at the milk section, everything was gone except one tiny bottle of almond-based milk.
This is the first time a stranger and I have reached out for the same stuff. And knowing that someone else is also reaching for it …
And I acted oblivious to their presence …
I went straight like a lightening-fast grabber,
snatched the bottle, and
swiftly carted away.
But then my phone beeped with a text message from my son’s daycare saying they’d close by 5:30 pm and all parents had to pick up their kiddos as soon as possible. I had no time to go through the checkout line and still make it on time, yet I couldn’t leave without my groceries.
I was overwhelmed with all of my thoughts and fears for the future —
What if we needed milk sooner than stores opened again?
What if people turned into zombies from this virus?
What if my manager died before approving my promotion?!
At that moment, I felt like everything was spinning out of control.
I looked up, and my eyes filled with tears. It was close to 5 pm, and the daycare closed by 5:30 pm. I could never go through the checkout line of almost 50 mini-mountain-sized carts and still be able to reach my kid on time.
I stood in the long line, frequently glancing over my watch. When it reached 5:20 pm, I couldn’t hang in there any longer; I moved my cart to the side and rushed towards the exit door.
As I started to drive towards my son’s daycare, another message beeped in from the daycare informing me that my son was the only kid left and there was nothing to worry about, but he was asking when his mommy would come to pick him up. At that moment, I rolled up my sleeves and drove faster than ever to reach him on time.
I picked him up and drove home, but stores had already closed for the weekend, so I could not get any groceries. As we drove home, my son sang “Baby Shark” — a reminder that despite all the chaos around us, there is still love in this world.
When I rolled my car into the driveway, I was surprised to see a cop car.
When I moved my car into the driveway, I was surprised to see a cop car. I started worrying —
had I missed my turn signal? Were there any reports of anything suspicious … was there a burglary in the neighborhood … worse yet, was there a burglar inside my house? Was everybody back home safe?
I slowly unbuckled and helped my son out of his car seat. He was excited after seeing the cop car and started pulling me toward it.
Just then, a handsome cop in a shiny uniform stepped outside with his hands full of poly bags that contained all the groceries I had been unable to purchase earlier due to lack of time.
He smiled while handing me the groceries. Later, he told me that he had spotted me closely when I snatched away his milk bottle, and when I walked outside with tears leaving my hard-earned trophy milk, he knew he had to help.
He paid for all my groceries and found my address using my license plate number, which astounded me; this stranger was going out of his way to help someone in need!
I broke into tears and couldn’t thank him enough.
Kindness had found me in the time of Corona, and I felt blessed to have such an fantastic experience.
This changed my mindset; I could now look towards the brightness in this dark time.