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Letter: Don't let COVID-19 stop you from helping a Coquitlam senior at the grocery store

A little empathy will keep your spirits up, says letter writer
Shoppers leave a Costco - FILE

The Editor,

So I had to venture out tonight to get some groceries. 

While standing in line at the grocery store I noticed this woman in a motorized scooter at the till next to me. Her scooter basket was overflowing with stuff but she seemed to have things in hand, so I went about paying for my groceries.

As I was about to leave I looked over again and the woman in the scooter was struggling to pick up a case of cat food she had on the floor of her scooter. There were several people in line and everyone could see she was struggling, but they all just stood there. 

Maybe they were too afraid to get close for fear of catching COVID. The woman was talking to herself and still struggling, so I tried to ask her if she needed help. I don't think she heard me, and the next thing you know she's saying "I'm slipping," and I can see she is about to fall out of her scooter. 

I step up and grab her just as she is about to fall over. Then I steady her in her scooter and ask if she is OK. She says something like, "I'm ok but can't get my cat food." 

And the people who were standing there staring were still doing just that.

I squat down and get her case of cat food and place it on the conveyor for her. I ask her again if she is OK and she says "yes," and says thank you for the help. 

All day I had been feeling pretty blue, disconnected from people. In that brief instant, all those blue feelings went away. 

As I walked out of the grocery store, mask on my face, and hands freshly sanitized, I felt like a normal human being again. 

COVID-19 has changed all of our lives, but it was nice to know, that despite the anxiety and sadness I have been experiencing, when it mattered most, Covid had not changed the kind of person I want to be. 

We can be physically distanced, and in masks, and our bubbles, but we can still help complete strangers and be a community.

Rob Bottos, Coquitlam