It is easy - sometimes, too easy - to look around and see how the Covid pandemic has brought out the worst in people.
From panic-buying to the degree of stripping shelves of essential items and leaving nothing for those to follow; to wilfully breaching lockdown restrictions to go fish; or to spreading misinformation on the vaccine - there is no shortage of poor examples of humanity around us.
Among the deplorable is the smash and grab incidents on nurses' cars near Auckland Hospital this week. One nurse said she returned to her car - parked in a building near the hospital - at 3.30pm on Sunday to discover it had been taken.
The nurse, who didn't want to be identified for obvious reasons, said she knew of five cars damaged or stolen in recent days.
"We are busy saving lives in the hospital and we would not expect this to happen to us frontline workers during this time," the nurse says. "At least have some respect during this pandemic times - we are giving 100 per cent to save your loved loves."
She's right. Healthcare staff serving 12-hour shifts of saving lives and easing people's suffering should not be treated so shabbily.
It should be a genuine wake-up call to the operators of these parking facilities to lift their security game. When offenders are able to sidle into buildings to carry out property crimes, the personal safety of nurses is also at risk.
The incidents also uncovered more accounts of hardship for nursing staff, who pay up to $19 a day for carparking. Some are apparently driving to work early and sleeping in their cars to reduce the parking costs.
A Wilson Parking spokesperson said the company was contracted to manage the site but did not provide security services or set fees. That's up to the Auckland District Health Board, which says it has increased security patrols at the sites and is working closely with police. As it should, surely.
Extra security and more vigilant policing is an improvement, and the fees structure should also be looked at as a means to ease the hardship on a sector which desperately needs a ball to bounce in their favour for once.
There are other upsides to emerge from this sorry saga. One is that police have arrested one person in relation to property offences in the car park building.
Another important one is the people who have come forward offering to help the affected nurses. One person had offered a cash donation towards repairs and parking; another, who owns a car rental company, had offered to help provide replacement cars so the affected staff could get to and from work.
As well as the healthcare staff in need of respite from the worst of our community, these are the people we should be looking for when we cast our eyes around.
Yes, it is easy to see the worst in people but, by training our focus and shifting our outlook, we will invariably notice circumstances are also bringing out the best.