Lethbridge Facebook group supporting community amid COVID-19 pandemic
Published Monday, March 23, 2020 4:34PM MDT Last Updated Monday, March 23, 2020 5:37PM MDT
CALGARY -- As COVID-19 continues to spread to cities and communities across the country, Albertans are relying on one another to get through the hard times.
The elderly, immune-compromised and marginalized people often suffer the most during a health crisis as they have to cross other obstacles as well.
And despite the social distancing rules, Good Samaritans are doing the best they can to assist those in need.
Several Facebook groups have been created, like Lethbridge Support Circle where members are able to ask for help. The group was created by Jenn Prosser and the numbers have exploded since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, currently sitting at more than 3,400 members.
“People message me and if they need something, I can definitely pick it up for them," said Taylor Novak, member of the group.
"I'm also collecting bottles from people in the group. (I take) them and use that money for people who can't afford food right now.”
Novak helped Eugene Wilson, who suffers from social anxiety due to autism.
Wilson was devastated when realizing the shelves were empty.
“I was scared, anxious, and quite honestly borderline suicidal,” he said. “I did not know what to do. I heard the shelves were low, but not empty.”
Wilson said someone even gave him $200 to help him upon learning his mental state.
“For a complete stranger to give me that much money, it’s incredible,” he said, tearing up. “I'd like to thank those who helped me.”
Although the novel coronavirus has brought its lot of uncertainty, Wilson recommends people stay brave.
“Don’t be afraid,” he said. “There are people out there that will help under any circumstances.”
As of Monday afternoon, there are 301 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alberta and there has been one death reported. The province has declared a state of public health emergency.
Anyone who has returned from international travel since March 12 is ordered to self-isolate for 10 days and anyone experiencing symptoms — a dry cough, fever, chills or shortness of breath — should self-isolate and contact 811.