So in addition to fulfilling the mitzvah of giving mishloach manot today, I fulfilled the mitzvah of bikur cholim (visiting the sick). A minyan member was in the hospital recovering from surgery to unblock a cardiac artery. I don't know her well, but she has always been friendly to me and she has been generous in hosting the minyan Chanukkah party in her apartment complex's party room a couple of time. And the hospital is only a few miles from where I work, so I could easily just leave work a little early and drop by to see her.
I brought her a "mishloach manot" package with hamentaschen (a bit bigger with more food than for other friends because she needed it more) and she was really happy to be able to eat the hamantaschen. I felt good about visiting her because she was a little down that even though her surgery was back on Monday, none of her adult children have come to visit her yet (although one of her son's is taking care of her two dogs for her, so it's not like she has been totally neglected by them all). She said that last night a female rabbi had come to the hospital with a young man who read the megillah for all the Jewish patients to be able to hear it. That made her really happy to be able to hear the megillah for Purim even though she was in the hospital.
For me, I like that bikur cholim is a mitzvah. I would still think about visiting sick friends without the religious requirement, but because it is a mitzvah (=commandment), I am more likely to do it rather than make excuses about being too busy or not being close friends with the sick person. It is one of the ways that being Jewish makes me a better person.