The elderly have the most to worry about during the COVID-19 pandemic. If infected by the virus they have the highest mortality rate. So, obviously, they have a big reason to stay home and practice social distancing during the crisis.
Teenagers have a much lower risk of dying from the COVID-19, and in California, high school isn't in session for weeks, if not months.
So Daniel Goldberg, a junior student-athlete at San Marcos High in Santa Barbara put two and two together and got his friends together to help the elderly.
Daniel created Zoomers to Boomers, a website where seniors in the Santa Barbara area can fill out a list online and have their groceries delivered the next day by one of his high school friends.
The site's name is a generational play on words, the delivery people are all Gen Z (those born between 1997 and 2012) and the recipients are mostly Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964).
via Zoomers to Boomers
"The first week off school I was just spending time with siblings, and I was trying to follow all the regulations of isolate at home, don't go out and spread anything around," Daniel told Santa Barbara's Noozhawk.
"I felt I wasn't helping when there was help that was needed," he added.
Daniel was inspired to create the website because of his father, an ER doctor at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
"I saw my dad (Dr. Brian Goldberg) going into work at the ER every day and he was putting himself out on the front line," Daniel said. "I was just sitting at home twiddling my thumbs. I was like: 'There has to be something I can do to try help out in the community.' I started thinking and brainstorming on how I can help."
By Tuesday, Daniel had put together a staff of 13 high school kids to do the zooming. Many of them are fellow athletes at his school. The Zoomers must adhere to strict standards of sanitation and wear an N95 mask and gloves.
"All these people are people I'm comfortable asking, 'Do you want to help?'" he said. "They're friends from school and water polo, people I know."
The great thing for seniors is that Zoomers to Boomers is free. The Zoomers don't accept any payment for their orders and tips are donated to those in need in Santa Barbara county.
The project has been so successful it's already spread to Denver, Colorado.
The site is simple to use. Customers click an "order here" tab to create a grocery list. Then drivers visit a local grocery store and fulfill the order. After the items have been purchased, the delivery person calls or texts the customer and tells them how much it cost and when it will be delivered.
Customers can pay through cash, check, or Venmo.
"They answer all the information we need and we send a driver out and we'll have (the grocery) order to them by the next morning," Daniel said. "For the non-tech savvy, they can send me an email. I can call a couple of people and make the delivery."
Business is taking off quickly. On Tuesday, Daniel's team fulfilled 50 orders, so he's looking to hire more Zoomers.
"I'm going to try to grow the team a little more," he said.