HOUSTON — Some of the most popular posts on the Nextdoor social media platform right now are about neighbors finding ways to help their neighbors. People are offering to run errands or buy supplies for neighbors in need.
But what seems like a small, simple act of kindness, just changed Harriet Wiechert's world.
She's been taking care of her husband, Kenneth, at their west Houston home. He's been bedridden in hospice care for the last eight months. Kenneth is living with heart failure and the early stages of dementia.
"It’s just the two of us. We don’t have any family, " Wiechert said from her dining room table. "I’m just here taking care of my love. 57 years of marriage. It's what I want to do."
Disinfecting her home is paramount. Last week, she ran to several stores looking for paper towels and disinfecting wipes.
"The shelves were always bare," she said.
The 82-year old logged on to Nextdoor and created a post in the Nottingham Forest community page.
"Urgent Alert. Husband in home hospice and I cannot find paper towels or sanitary wipes," it read.
Within minutes, the messages started coming in, and then came the doorstep deliveries of donated supplies.
"And people just kept coming. And the more they came, the more amazed I was," Wiechert said.
She ended up with nearly a dozen rolls of paper towels and about a half dozen tubs of wipes.
"Few of the people I knew, most of them I didn’t," she said.
One neighbor offered to move a bed into the Wiecherts' den. Harriet has been sleeping on a couch in order to be near her husband. Another offered meals to the couple and their caregivers. Another neighbor is now donating casseroles. One man walked in the rain last Friday to donate supplies to the elderly couple.
"It was nothing to them, but it was the world to me. It’s probably the most heartwarming thing I’ve ever been through. All I asked for was paper towels and disinfectant," Wiechert said.
Wiechert knows she'll likely never get to meet the neighbors who stepped up to help.
"You just embrace it and tell everybody, with all my heart, I thank you. That’s all I can say," she said.
This story was inspired by a local resident on Nextdoor.
Click here to see and comment on KHOU 11 News Reporter Melissa Correa's Nextdoor posts.
The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Some patients also have nausea, body aches, headaches and stomach issues. Losing your sense of taste and/or smell can also be an early warning sign.
Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.
But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk for becoming seriously ill. However, U.S. experts are seeing a significant number of younger people being hospitalized, including some in ICU.
The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.
Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...
- The air by coughing or sneezing
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.
Help stop the spread of coronavirus
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Eat and sleep separately from your family members
- Use different utensils and dishes
- Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
- If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
- Follow social distancing
Lower your risk
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.
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