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#coronaviruskindness: Moments of community kindness, love warm up pandemic fears

Amid panic-buying and the growing fear of the coronavirus pandemic, small acts of kindness are having a big impact.

Last week, Rebecca Mehra, a professional runner, tweeted out a story of an elderly couple in their 80s who was sitting in their vehicle at the grocery store and they asked her to get their groceries for fear of catching the virus.

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Her simple act immediately went viral to millions and she shared the hashtag, "#kindnesskillscovid."

"I know it's a time of hysteria and nerves, but offer to help anyone you can," Mehra said. "Not everyone has people to turn to."

Meanwhile, a 6-year-old girl in Minnesota, Cameron Brundidge, saw her brother, Brandon, who has crippling anxiety because of his autism diagnosis, starting to tense up watching the news.

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She grabbed his hands and started teaching him a Bible verse, 2 Timothy 1:7, to help him overcome the fear: "But God did not give me a spirit of fear, but power, love, and a sound mind."

Their mom, Sheletta Brundidge, told Fox News she is helping her neighbors, single moms who have to go to work, by watching their kids.

"We have to stand in the gap for one another," she said.

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As more states continue to shut down schools, businesses and public events, many families are left scrambling to make ends meet.

Country music star Martina McBride is raising money to feed the community in Nashville, Tenn., who is still recovering from tornadoes and is now facing the coronavirus outbreak.

Another "Volunteer State" neighborhood in Knoxville started a "Kindness Committee" to help run errands, meal prep, or help in other ways for those with weak immune systems who aren't able to leave their homes.

"It's something that I don't think any of us in our lifetimes have ever experienced this kind of thing before," Kelly Arsenault told WBIR. "So really trying to just be there for each other and help each other navigate through [is important]."

In Williston, Vt., parents started a fundraising campaign for the janitorial staff that was deep cleaning two schools to protect against the virus. They raised more than $6,000 to split among the staff, the Burlington Free Press reported last week.

Allen Brook School in Williston, Vermont briefly closed its doors amid coronavirus fears after a staff member presented cold-like symptoms after a stay at an out-of-state hotel that had confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Allen Brook School in Williston, Vermont briefly closed its doors amid coronavirus fears after a staff member presented cold-like symptoms after a stay at an out-of-state hotel that had confirmed cases of coronavirus. (Google Maps)

"UNBELIEVABLE!! I’m speechless," Brooke Bennett Thomas, the campaign's creator, wrote on Facebook. "We never envisioned it taking off like it has and it turned a rather crummy reality into a positive feel-good experience."

A generous customer at Coaches Bar and Grill in Columbus, Ohio, left a $2,500 tip for a $30 bill after the government shut down restaurants Sunday night.

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“(There were) tears, tears of joy,” Coaches owner Benny Leonard told WBNS. “An unbelievable act of kindness on a pretty weird day.”

If these stories teach us anything, it's that kindness is contagious and, in a state of emergency, we could use more of it.