Emily Rice

Emily Rice is the Lifestyles Editor of The Bluefield Daily Telegraph and the Associate Editor of Prerogative Magazine.

What could make living in a pandemic more difficult? Well, for me this week it was re-injuring my ankle on the day that I had ordered groceries.

The stock of food was running low at my house and out of sheer hope, I checked the Walmart to see if there was any way to get a pick-up time slot. Miraculously, for the first time in weeks, there were dozens of time slots open. I quickly placed my order for the essentials and spent the rest of the day deep cleaning my house and moving furniture.

I did not feel the pain at first, but at some point, I must have twisted my ankle. I apologize to any of my regular readers who have read this story before, but I have a recurring ankle injury. In 2015, I tore three ligaments in my ankle. I was stuck in a medical boot for the last few months of my senior year of college, along with physical therapy. Eventually, my ankle healed and I was released from the medical boot and crutches just in time for college graduation.

Unfortunately, I now have a “bad ankle.” So, if I ever bend it the wrong way, trip off a curb, or sneeze at it, apparently, I am stuck in a brace for a couple of days and in a lot of pain. After I realized it was injured, I limped back to grab one of my ankle braces and kept it elevated for the rest of the evening. I woke up the next morning to swelling, bruises and nearly unbearable pain. I hopped on one leg to find a better brace and pull my crutches out of the closet.

Back on crutches again for the...well, I’ve lost count of how many times at this point, I was trying to figure out how to carry my groceries that I desperately needed while on crutches. In addition, the injury is on my right ankle, so driving can be painful, but my dog needed food and I was going to make sure she was taken care of.

I carefully drove to Walmart and got my groceries. A couple of times in the parking lot I had to slam on the brakes with that right ankle and yelled in pain. I know we are always in a hurry, especially in a pandemic, but can we please try to drive carefully and kindly, especially now?

Anyway I got my groceries and headed home. I started trying to loop the bags on my arms to carry the items up to the porch on the crutches. Exhausted after one trip, I rested on the porch.

In the amount of time it probably took him to put shoes on, my new neighbor whom I had yet to meet because of the pandemic and social distancing, came out of his house and asked if I needed some help. I nearly broke into tears and said that if he didn’t mind, I really did need help.

In minutes, my neighbor had all my groceries on the porch. I thanked him profusely and his response was, “What are neighbors for? Just holler if you need anything.”

In a very stressful week, in the middle of a very stressful time, I was shown how much good there still is in people. He didn’t have to leave his house and help his neighbor he hadn’t even met, but he saw someone in need and came rushing out to help. Let’s all follow my neighbor’s example and show each other some kindness in this time. After all, what are neighbors for?

— Contact Emily Rice at erice@bdtonline.com and follow her on Twitter @BDTrice

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