Bernie O'Connell and son Justin at Tin Can Bay IGA. They have set aside toilet paper rolls so the town’s elderly residents don’t miss out in the panic buying spree.
Bernie O'Connell and son Justin at Tin Can Bay IGA. They have set aside toilet paper rolls so the town’s elderly residents don’t miss out in the panic buying spree.

Tin Can Bay’s elderly have their own loo paper saviour

WHEN it comes to toilet paper and the coronavirus pandemic, Tin Can Bay's Bernie O'Connell is bucking the trend.

The owner of IGA Tin Can Bay has been putting aside stock of the hard-to-find item for elderly residents left behind in the panic buying of the past weeks.

Rolls were so rare people from Gympie and the Sunshine Coast had hit her shop in their search, she said.

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"It just made me sad.

"If I'd known about it earlier, I'd have put (more) aside.

"There's a lot of elder community members out here."

The thanks in return was its own form of gold.

Empty toilet paper shelves have been left bare.
Empty toilet paper shelves have been left bare.

It was not the only act of kindness to come to light in the midst of the pandemic.

Australia has been swept up in its own kindness pandemic.

New South Wales couple Shaye and Scott Lyons, self-isolated as they await the results of a friend's COVID-19 test, were on the receiving end of a cooked meal from a concerned elderly neighbour.

"She texted us to say look out the front, and on the mailbox was a covered foil tray," Mrs Lyons said.

"Inside was a freshly cooked batch of garlic butter redclaw!"

In other corners of the country, neighbour cards are being shared on community Facebook pages. The cards are designed to be dropped in the letter boxes of elderly and vulnerable neighbours, or those self-isolating.

A viral neighbour card doing the rounds on social media, asking a neighbour if they need help. They are being left in letter boxes.
A viral neighbour card doing the rounds on social media, asking a neighbour if they need help. They are being left in letter boxes.

And Rainbow Beach's Lee McCarthy said kindness was one thing not in short supply. in the Gympie region.

This included one woman who gave a recently purchased 12-pack of toilet paper to a Kilcoy resident who had no luck getting it elsewhere.

She said another Gympie woman passed up on an offer to take the last on-shelf pack of Dettol wipes from a mother, because she had not run out yet. "We can't go down a depressing circle of all the bad stuff," Ms McCarthy said.

Rainbow Beach can still be enjoyed even if self-isolating, one resident says.
Rainbow Beach can still be enjoyed even if self-isolating, one resident says.

She hoped this would extend to people taking advantage of the opportunities on their door step - like Rainbow Beach's open spaces, fresh air, and surf.

"We have to keep living," she said. "We have the most beautiful national attractions and we can still use them."

Businesses were also stepping up to help those self-isolating. The Gympie Feed Barn has offered delivery, with the option to have items left at their door.

"There's a lot of people out there who don't have family or close friends," manager Kirsty Carney said.

Gympie Times


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