Acts of kindness: Locals taking care of one another in time of crisis

Amid closures and uncertainty, folks join together
Posted at 9:04 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 17:37:41-04

Editor’s note: With our coronavirus coverage, our goal is not to alarm you but to equip you with the information you need. We will try to keep things in context and focus on helping you make decisions. See a list of resources and frequently asked questions at the end of this story.

Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders is calling it "Takeout Tuesday" -- he picked up the tab at Walt's Hitching Post for first responders countywide, and he hopes others join in with acts of kindness of their own.

"Tonight, I’m buying a half slab of ribs, and all the trimmings, for any off-duty police officer in Kenton County,” Sanders said.

In trying times like these, as businesses and schools close amid a coronavirus pandemic, he said he's especially grateful for emergency crews in the field.

“I haven’t told my wife I’m doing this yet," Sanders said. "I’m going to keep this up as long as I can afford it, or she takes my credit card away. I should thank her. She’s the one in the family who makes all the money.”

Sanders said, lately, first responders have been receiving a high volume of calls.

“They have to go hands-on with some of these bad guys. There’s no six-foot rule," he said.

The acts of kindness and generosity extend well beyond Walt's Hitching Post in Northern Kentucky. There have been several instances in Cincinnati as well.

“We thought maybe there was some mistake," Oriental Wok owner Susanna Wong Burgess said. "We ran out after them.”

A longtime customer left a $1,000 tip on a $65 order. The bill came with a great message – please share.

Oriental Wok Instagram picture
A customer at Oriental Wok paid a $1,000 tip on a $65 bill.

“Servers, bussers, bartenders. They’re tipped employees," Burgess said. "It’ll be an adjustment period.”

They're paying it forward -- and hoping the trend catches on.

“Pick a restaurant. If you’re not buying dinner for every cop in the county, you can at least buy dinner for your local department, or for one local officer," Sanders said. "Find a cop, tell them you’re paying their tab. Send them down to your favorite restaurant. Get some carry-out.”

Sanders said Takeout Tuesday will continue next week. They have a law office already lined up, and they hope people follow suit in other counties.

Find more coronavirus/COVID-19 hotlines and resources below:


  • Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 833-4-ASK-ODH
  • See ODH’s COVID-19 resources here.


  • State COVID-19 hotline: 1-800-722-5725
  • See the Cabinet for Health and Family Services coronavirus resource site here.


  • SDH Epidemiology Resource Center: (317) 233-7125 or (317) 233-1325 after hours, or e-mail
  • See more information for coronavirus in Indiana here.

What is coronavirus, COVID-19?

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are "a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

A novel coronavirus, such as COVID-19, is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has now been detected in 37 locations across the globe, including in the U.S., according to the CDC.

The CDC reports the initial patients in China have some link to a large seafood and live animal market, indicative of animal-to-person spread. A growing number of patients, however, did not report exposure to animal markets, indicating the disease is spreading person-to-person.

What are the symptoms? How does it spread?

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death, according to the CDC. Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath.

The CDC said symptoms could appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. It is similar to the incubation period for MERS.

Spread of the virus is thought to be mainly from person-to-person. Spread is between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet). Spread occurs via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

According to the CDC, it could be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, the CDC said.

The disease is most contagious when people are the sickest and showing the most symptoms, but it can be spread even at asymptomatic stages.