The COVID-19 crisis is pushing hospitals across the world to their limits. Even after the emergency declaration has ended, the same remains true in Japan. Medical workers are continuing to heroically treat patients infected by the novel Coronavirus, working tirelessly to save lives whilst exposing themselves to the risk of infection.

The last thing a hospital worker needs then, as they take a moment to breathe after hours of grueling work, is to stumble on a mysterious box marked “dangerous to touch”. One Tokyo hospital had to deal with such a dread-filled delivery, however, the outcome was equally unexpected!

GODIVA’s unexpected gift of appreciation

On May 5th, a hospital worker posted 3 photos on twitter. They showed cardboard boxes that had been delivered to her office.

The photos were of multiple cardboard boxes, with a sign on top warning “DO NOT TOUCH!”. Seeing such a foreboding message undoubtedly raised suspicions of potentially dangerous contents that lurked within. But where the heck had the box come from and what was really inside? Poisonous snakes, or worse, explosives?

Fortunately, rather than bombs, the hospital received bonbons.

The parcels were sent from international chocolatier GODIVA. Inside were boxes and boxes of chocolates and cookies. Anyone who has been lucky enough to receive the delicious Belgian chocolates before knows they make the best gift. In this case, however, this unexpectedly sweet surprise must have been all the more surprising thanks to the dramatic and misleading signage.

Hospital staff likely put "Do not touch!” signs on the cardboard boxes to protect the delights within from being squashed, or scoffed by a hungry doctor.

In addition to confectionary, the boxes also contained the following letter saying:

“To everyone involved in medical care,

Thank you, as residents of Japan, we would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of you who have been working in such a harsh environment recently.

We are all surrounded by people who make a great difference to our lives whilst going unseen.

These are people who create the comfort of “daily life”. These are people who continue to strive for the moment of victory.

We at GODIVA call these people “Heroes”.

Today, on behalf of GODIVA’s employees, we are delivering a small gift of GODIVA chocolates and cookies to our "heroes”.

If those working tirelessly for long hours in a tense environment, day in and day out, can feel at ease even for a moment, and gain the energy to tackle their next task because of this gift, then nothing could make us happier. With thanks.

The chocolates were delivered as part of GODIVA’s initiative to donate chocolate to healthcare workers nationwide to support the fight against the coronavirus.

The wonderful project aims to recognize and “thank the medical staff who have saved people’s lives in difficult environments”.

The initial project received applications from over 300 hospitals in prefectures across Japan, reaching the maximum application limit in just 3 hours.

There’s no denying that delicious food provides a sense of relief when we’re tired and stressed. GODIVA’s kindness stems from their desire to heal health care workers who are physically and mentally exhausted, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic.

In addition to the above-mentioned tweet, the hospital posted a thank-you message on the internet saying, "Sweets arrived from Godiva!"

(Note from the Editor: We received permission to post these images from the hospital worker, under the condition of anonymity.)

By - Toby M.