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Acts of Kindness: Teen starts Zoom Food to help people at high risk of COVID-19

Posted: 12:33 AM, Mar 26, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-26 00:43:24-04
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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.

CINCINNATI - A teen is finding a way to make a difference in the community by helping people who may be at high risk for COVID-19.

Trip Wright, a junior at St. Xavier High School, is balancing online schoolwork with his own non-profit.

After online classes from 8-3 every day, Wright delivers groceries and whatever else the most vulnerable need during this health crisis.

“In my free time between classes, I’m able to go on my email, reach out to volunteers, check for delivery requests,” Wright said.

Wright started Zoom Food only three days ago.

“I built a website Sunday and started spreading the word,” he said.

Wright was inspired by a group of New York City College students who deliver groceries to the elderly or those considered high risk during the outbreak.

“So we’re offering a free service to deliver to their homes at no charge so they can feel better. It’s minimal contact. It’s really safe. We have lots of volunteers, too,” Wright said.

The cost?

“Nothing, it’s free!” Wright said.

Here’s how it works:

You go to ZoomFoodDeliver.com, click on Request A Delivery, fill out your info, and your delivery is on the way. You pay for the food. But the volunteers bring it to you for free.

Trip and a team of volunteers are making this happen.

“We’re all in this together,” said Heather Vecellio. “We all want to be a part and help, and this is one really simple way to just jump in your car and help your fellow community members.”

Because some volunteers can carry the virus without showing any symptoms, they’re taking all the necessary precautions.

“We are not having people opening their doors when we go to their house, so if they have an airlock door, that’s great. Put it on their porch, send them a text, give them a call, let them know we’re there,” Wright said.

“We’re going to be out here for as long as there is a need and a demand.”

Zoom Food has more than 30 volunteers. If you’d like to help but you’re not able to drop off deliveries in your car, they accept donations.

RELATED: See other Acts of Kindness stories.

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

Ohio

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

Kentucky

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

Indiana

  • SDH Epidemiology Resource Center: (317) 233-7125 or (317) 233-1325 after hours, or e-mail epiresource@isdh.in.gov
  • 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.