In San Diego, for example, a Facebook group created to coordinate volunteer efforts — San Diego Community Volunteers — said it has seen a huge uptick in the number of people offering to help, going from 50 members to 400 in a matter of days.
Elsewhere, the popular restaurant chain Puesto, which was forced to shut down because of the virus, gave away some 500 free care packages this week.
Supermarkets across the country have also reached out to help seniors, putting in place special hours for people 65 and over to ensure they avoid crowds.
The supermarket chain Raley’s, based in northern California, said that as of March 21, it was starting a special program offering a pre-selected bag of groceries at a reduced price for seniors and people in need.
In Walnut Creek, near San Francisco, where residents have been ordered to stay home, a dentist is offering free emergency dental services to ease the congestion at hospital emergency rooms.
David Nisenboyn said he first consults by phone and video before determining whether to receive a patient.
– ‘I’ve got plenty of time’ –
“I’ve got plenty of time to do consults if necessary … we’ve got three weeks of lockdowns!” he said.
Further north, in the neighboring state of Oregon, the Shine Spirits distillery is turning byproduct into a hand cleaning solution with 80 percent alcohol.
In the small town of Coos Bay, also in Oregon, coffee shop owner John Beane is hosting virtual story times for kids after shutting down his cafe.