Thousands of Australians have joined the Facebook group Adopt a Healthcare Worker, offering to assist frontline health workers who may have been exposed to COVID-19 amid the current health crisis.
Originally set up by Perth resident Chris Nicholas, the group's description asks its members to "adopt" a healthcare worker in their area who is assisting those affected by the virus, or is self-isolating due to having possibly contracted the virus.
"Let's support those people who support us," the group says.
"Currently it looks like our medical system is going to be swamped by COVID-19 patients throughout 2020. For our healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, admin & support staff) this means that they are going to be worked to exhaustion."
The page encourages members to connect with those in their local area and help out based on their needs, suggesting they offer babysitting and childcare, deliver groceries to their door, or even just emotional support for those on the front line of the crisis.
Chris Nicholas set up the page, after a friend, who works as a nurse, said she couldn't find any toilet paper to buy during the break between her shifts.
Chris said he was at a loss for how to help amidst the COVID-19 crisis, but felt he could still do his bit in other ways.
"I don't have the knowledge or expertise to help on the frontline, but I can run support for those who do!" he told the ABC.
"When I started, I thought it would be a few of my friends who are doctors and nurses," he said.
"By the end of Saturday night, we had about 500 people."
The group's membership now stands at well over 17,000 people, and averages over 600 posts daily of people offering their help, support and general services.
Healthcare workers have also been encouraged to post their specific post codes and speak out about what they specifically need.
Mr Nicholas hopes to expand the page into a national movement in the coming days especially as the east coast and NSW in particular have had a spike in confirmed cases.
The group demonstrates the spirit of solidarity that Aussies possess – last seen during the bushfire crisis earlier this year – has not been lost among the sometimes chaotic response to the outbreak of COVID-19.
At the time of writing, the number of confirmed cases in Australia was approaching 500.
Check out the Adopt a Healthcare Worker Facebook group here.