Not all heroes wear capes, some hand out toilet paper
When Shae and Scott Lyons of the far NSW North Coast went into self-isolation this week, their elderly neighbour took notice.
The couple, who are awaiting a friend of the family's COVID-19 test result, couldn't take any chances after potential contact as Mrs Lyon works with children.
"Our lovely elderly neighbour cooked up a mad feed for us," Mrs Lyon said.
"She texted us to say look out the front, and on the mailbox was a covered foil tray.
"Inside was a freshly cooked batch of garlic butter redclaw!"
The coronavirus pandemic might feel like an every-man-for-themselves situation, but not everyone's behaving like a savage in a supermarket aisle.
The Lyon's story is just one of countless warm-hearted acts flooding social media as people turn to support one another during an unprecedented time.
Neighbour Cards are being shared on community Facebook pages across the country for people to pop into letterboxes of elderly and vulnerable neighbours, or those self-isolating, while support groups like COVID-19 Mutual Aid Facebook groups are popping up to assist communities, and share advice.
But it's the Kindness Pandemic Facebook group with more than 30,000 members that is helping to ease anxiety for many Aussies.
Filled with stories of people giving or receiving help, there are threads dedicated to thanking healthcare workers, tales of supermarket kindness and hundreds of small and large acts of decency - and countless toilet paper heroes.
Here's a taste:
"I got up at 5am yesterday morning to try and get some toilet paper for myself as I was completely out. Was lucky enough to get a 12-pack, but I left half the packet on the doorstep of my neighbour who's survived three strokes, has leukaemia, is on crutches and has absolutely no family or friends and can't get out to the supermarkets. He was very appreciative and it made me feel good." Emma Eileen
"Just went to my local supermarket and bought some snacks for their tea room. Didn't mean to make the register operator cry! She called the manager over who told me it's the first nice thing that's happened since this all started. It doesn't cost anything to smile and be polite either. Then I went to check on the bakery, fishmonger and deli that we frequent. Smiles all around except for the initial tears." - Manja Breffa.
"Yesterday afternoon at child care pick-up I ranted to the teachers about not being able to find any pasta anywhere after five grocery store visits and little miss two will only eat pasta! Upon arrival to my daughters kindy today, her teachers handed me a shopping bag filled with pasta and told me it was a little present from them. I almost cried." - Tamara Maree
"I'm a manager of a Medical Centre, we are overwhelmed. We are getting called all sorts of things but today I am so thankful." - Megan Atkinson
"A big shout out to three little boys, Gilbert Elliott and Ollie. Using their birthday money to buy chocolate and a beautiful card to the team at Coles Waurn Ponds. I hope you know how much this means to us at a very crazy time. Thank you so much you are absolute super heroes." - Rita Heaton
"This morning myself and two friends volunteered at our local Coles in Balaclava during the early hour for seniors and concession card holders to help them find items, carry bags and offer support in anyway we could. We had 'volunteer' badges on which I think made us more approachable and 'safe' for our vulnerable community members who are finding supermarkets a scary place to be. One lovely elderly man was really struggling to carry his items around the store. So I held his bags as we went up and down the isles while he told me about life in Mauritius, where he was born. It was a moment of connection and humanity amid the madness." - Lisa Ball
"I made up this care package for her elderly neighbours. Within five minutes they came and gave me the most biggest hug with tears in their eyes, saying they've been worried sick about not being able to get anything that is desperately needed to help them stay safe and they have been terrified of going anywhere because both their immune systems are compromised. Every day since I have been taking over cans of soup, pasta, whatever I can to help them."- Rachel Joules
"I was in line at the supermarket when a distressed lady in front of me couldn't find the $35 remaining she needed for her bill. I watched her as she declared her pension was paid today. Her trolley was full of regular essentials so I looked at the young attendant and handed her my card and offered the balance. The attendant was so grateful thanking me several times as the elder shopper begrudgingly accepted my offer. She couldn't quite look me in the eye but I accepted that as humble and she thanked me under her breath as she walked away.
Unknowingly I had a man behind me and as I went to pass my hot cross buns to the attendant he handed me $20 and insisted in sharing the bill." - Lea Cochrane
While 24-hour global news about the effects of the coronavirus has become the norm, stories about the kindness of strangers and individuals go beyond Facebook.
These are some from our readers:
"When I had a spare pack of 18 loo rolls I went knocking around my neighbourhood asking the elderly if they had enough. If they didn't I gave them two rolls. Also I stood out the front of Woolworths and gave out some to the elderly." - Joanne Ryan
"I don't know the lady and man, however, while shopping for a few items for myself plus some hand sanitiser, baked beans and antibacterial wipes for my 86-year-old mother, a lovely lady approximately 65-ish overheard me telling the checkout operator that I tried to get the wipes and sanitiser for my mum. After I left the checkout, the lady came over to me and pulled a small bottle of hand sanitiser out of her bag and handed it to me saying she would like me to give it to my mum. I politely declined as I am sure they needed it just as much but I was so humbled by her kind gesture. There are still great people in this world. Be one of them." - Christine Feeney
"When buying some basics for my husband and I, a lovely lady was upset she could not afford a huge packet of toilet paper. I gave her the money to purchase it. She was floored with gratitude and said what am I going to do with 24 rolls of toilet paper. I suggested she share it with her friends and neighbours. She smiled said thank you and would just do that."
- Kylie Webster
"I purchased a 24 pack from Coles. Walking out there was a little old man in front of us, I stopped and asked him how he was doing for toilet paper at home, he said I'm OK for now I've got a couple of rolls at home and I'm on my own. I put my pack in his trolley and told him to take it. He was so grateful - even offered to pay me for it. That pack will last him around two months I reckon. Not only was it a good thing to do it also taught my children a valuable lesson. Let's help each other out!" - Catherine Allan