8 Companies That Are Helping During the Coronavirus Crisis

Ridofranz, iStock via Getty Images
Ridofranz, iStock via Getty Images

If you want a bright spot in the current corona virus news cycle, look at the many ways people and businesses are giving back. There are plenty of organizations taking donations to provide support to those hit by the COVID-19 crisis, and in addition to charity, you can make your dollar count by buying from companies that are doing something to support vulnerable populations, small businesses, and regular customers at this time. Here are some businesses responding to the novel coronavirus outbreak in unique ways.

1. Stop & Shop has hours specifically for at-risk customers.

One place where it’s still hard to avoid crowds during the age of social distancing is the supermarket, and this can be dangerous for seniors, who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19. With this in mind, Stop & Shop announced that for 90 minutes at the beginning of each day, it will be open exclusively to customers who are older or more susceptible to the virus for any reason. To keep shoppers safe during this time, there are signs reminding them to keep a distance of at least 6 feet and only every other register is open. The senior hours extend from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.

2. The Crème Shop is donating masks to hospitals.

Medical care providers are putting themselves at risk every day during the novel coronavirus outbreak, and in some cases, they lack the personal protective equipment necessary to stay safe. Following massive demand across the globe, face masks are in especially short supply. One of the companies stepping up to get masks into the hands of people who need them is The Crème Shop. In addition to donating N95 masks to hospitals, the South Korean beauty brand is also giving away a free mask to customers with every online order, which you can then give to a friend or family member who may be in need. Enter the promo STAYSAFE with your order to claim a mask while supplies last.

3. BA&SH is donating sales money to COVID-19 research.

There’s no reason you can’t look good when you’re stuck at home—just make sure you stick to online retailers when updating your wardrobe. If you do your shopping with BA&SH, 15 percent of the sales money will be donated to novel coronavirus research. You can also use the promo code BASHFAMILY to take 25 percent off your purchase when buying clothes, shoes, and other items from the fashion site.

4. Adobe is waiving Photoshop payments.

Workers around the country have seen business dry up over the past few weeks as people retreat into their homes. That includes photographers, many of whom rely on events like weddings to make money. In an effort to help users facing sudden economic struggles, Adobe is waiving payment fees for all subscribers for the next two months. But the savings won’t come to you automatically. In order to take advantage of the offer, you need to go through the steps of canceling your plan until Adobe offers you the two-months-free deal to keep you as a subscriber. Click “accept offer” and continue enjoying the service at no cost for the next couple months.

5. America’s Test Kitchen is offering free recipes.

With more time at home and limited ways to spend it, many people in quarantine are turning to cooking. Whether you’re craving comfort food that sticks to your ribs or lighter fare to keep you healthy and energized, you can find a recipe for it from America’s Test Kitchen. During the COVID-19 crisis, the cooking website will allow non-subscribers to view 50 select recipes for free. If you’re planning on hunkering down at home, the collection includes plenty of pantry meals and freezable favorites refined by the America’s Test Kitchen team. There are also more elaborate baking projects for days when you’re looking to pass the time indoors.

6. UberEats is waiving delivery fees to select independent restaurants.

Even if you’re dining in for the foreseeable future, don’t forget to support your local restaurants. Ordering delivery is just as safe as a trip to the grocery store, if not safer, and it helps restaurants stay in business during a time when many of them are struggling. To do their part, UberEats is waiving delivery fees on all orders placed at independent restaurants during the COVID-19 outbreak. You can find the restaurants that need the most support and save money at the same time by searching under the "EAT LOCAL" banner in the UberEats app.

7. Amazon's no-rush delivery option gives priority to essential orders.

With businesses closing and people spending more time at home, online delivery services are more popular than ever. Amazon has become a vital resource for people looking to get necessities shipped to their homes—either because they’re quarantined or their local stores are low on supplies. In light of this, the company announced that it will temporarily prioritize orders of medical products and household staples, like toilet paper, to keep the supply chain moving smoothly.

If you’re using online shopping to stock up on bath bombs, board games, or other goods that could be considered non-essential, Amazon is giving you the opportunity to help. Choose "No-Rush Shipping" on your order to ensure your purchase won’t get in the way of high-priority orders (and you may make $3 as a result.) Amazon writes in a blog post, “Selecting the No-Rush option enables us to consolidate orders and make fewer stops in neighborhoods throughout the week, and most importantly, serve customers with the most critical needs first.” The company is also hiring 100,000 new employees during this time to keep up with demand.

8. Distilleries are making (and donating) hand sanitizer.

Hand sanitizer is another item that’s been hard to find since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. In response to the nationwide shortage, a Portland distillery chipped in by using its surplus alcohol to make hygiene products. Shine Distillery and Grill’s hand sanitizer contains 80 percent alcohol—20 percent above the guidelines suggested by the CDC—and it’s given out freely to customers who need it. Other distilleries in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey are offering similar services.

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture


This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

10 Facts About The Blue Lagoon On Its 40th Anniversary

Christopher Atkins and Brooke Shields star in The Blue Lagoon (1980).
Christopher Atkins and Brooke Shields star in The Blue Lagoon (1980).
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Brooke Shields was just 14 years old when she filmed The Blue Lagoon, the infamously sexy and slightly salacious island-set romance that capitalized on burgeoning hormones in a big way. The film was shocking when it debuted on July 5, 1980—but even 40 years later, it can still make jaws drop. Here’s a look at some of its more compelling tidbits, complete with undiscovered iguanas and a nifty trick to cover up nudity.

1. The Blue Lagoon is based on a trilogy of books by Henry De Vere Stacpoole.

Although the film closely follows the events of the first book in Henry De Vere Stacpoole’s series, also called The Blue Lagoon, the film’s sequel (1991’s Return to the Blue Lagoon) breaks with the storyline presented in the 1920s-era trilogy to essentially re-tell the original story (read: more tanned teens falling in love on a tropical island). Stacpoole’s books were far more concerned with the culture of the South Seas population, particularly as it was being further influenced by the arrival of European cultures.

2. The Blue Lagoon was adapted into a film twice before.

In 1923, director W. Bowden crafted a silent version of the story. More than a quarter-century later, British filmmaker Frank Launder made a very well-received version for the big screen in 1949, starring Jean Simmons and Donald Houston. The film was immensely popular, becoming the seventh-highest grossing domestic film at the U.K. box office that year.

3. The Blue Lagoon's costume team came up with a clever trick to keep Brooke Shields covered up.

Brooke Shields was just 14 years old when she filmed The Blue Lagoon, which led to some challenges for the production team, especially as Shields’s Emmeline is frequently topless. So the costume designers hatched an ingenious (and, really, just kind of obvious) way to keep her covered up at all times: they glued her long-haired wig to her body.

4. Brooke Shields’s age was an issue for a long time.

Even after The Blue Lagoon was long wrapped, completed, and released into theaters, issues related to Shields’s age at the time of filming still lingered. Years later, Shields testified before a U.S. Congressional inquiry that body doubles—of legal age—were used throughout filming.

5. The Blue Lagoon was nominated for an Oscar.

Cinematographer Néstor Almendros was nominated for his work on The Blue Lagoon. And while he lost out to Geoffrey Unsworth and Ghislain Cloquet for Tess, he already had one Oscar at home for his contributions to Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven (1978). The skilled DP, who passed away in 1992, was also nominated for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Sophie’s Choice (1982).

6. A new species of iguana was discovered when it appeared in The Blue Lagoon.

Parts of the film were lensed on a private island that is part of Fiji, one of the habitats of the now-critically endangered Fiji crested iguana. The iguana appeared throughout the film, and when herpetologist John Gibbons caught an early screening of the feature, he realized that the animal that kept popping up on the big screen wasn't a familiar one. So he traveled to Fiji (specifically, to the island of Nanuya Levu), where he discovered the Fiji crested iguana, an entirely new Fijian native.

7. The Blue Lagoon won a Razzie.

Despite its stellar source material and Oscar-nominated camerawork, The Blue Lagoon wasn’t beloved by everyone: The Razzies foisted a Worst Actress award on Shields. The actress won (lost? hard to tell?) over an extremely mixed bag of other nominees that somehow also included Shelley Duvall for The Shining. Come on, Razzies.

8. The Blue Lagoon director Randal Kleiser hatched a plan to get his stars to like each other.

Because the chemistry between the two leads was vital to the success of The Blue Lagoon, director Randal Kleiser (who also directed Grease) came up with the idea to get star Christopher Atkins feeling a little lovestruck with Shields by putting a picture of the young starlet over Atkins’s bed. Staring at Shields every night apparently did rouse some feelings in Atkins; the duo had a brief romance while filming. "Brooke and I had a little bit of a romantic, innocent sort of romance in the very beginning of the film," Atkins told HuffPost. “It was very nice—we were very, very close friends."

9. Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins's affection didn’t last for long.

Despite their early attachment, Shields and Atkins soon began bickering nonstop. “Brooke got tired of me,” Atkins told People in 1980. “She thought I took acting too seriously. I was always trying to get into a mood while she would be skipping off to joke with the crew.” Still, Kleiser even capitalized on that, using the tension to fuel the more frustrated scenes, lensing the tough stuff while his leads were tussling.

10. The Blue Lagoon's film shoot basically took place on a desert island.

Kleiser was desperate to capture authenticity for the film, going so far as to live like his characters while making it. "To shoot this kind of story, I wanted to get as close to nature as possible and have our crew live almost like the characters," Kleiser said. "We found an island in Fiji that had no roads, water, or electricity, but beautiful beaches. We built a village of tents for the crew to live in and had a small ship anchored in the lagoon for our camera equipment and supplies. This filming approach was quite unusual, but it just seemed right for this project."

This story has been updated for 2020.