Lately I have realized that "superheroes" aren’t just the sinewy, cape-wearing Samaritans that fantasies are made of. They come in all shapes and sizes, donning their scrubs, police uniforms, cooking aprons, and lab coats. These superheroes may not have vibranium shields and magical hammers to fight alien bodies, but they possess the more potent tools of their sharp minds and indomitable resolve. Their superhuman abilities are that of self-sacrifice and a sense of duty that the world has never witnessed before.
Therefore, it is important that we take a minute to be grateful for the contributions of all individuals, and acknowledge certain professions for their efforts in the fight against COVID-19. May we never take another human being for granted again, even after all of this is over.
Health care workers
With hospitals and medical facilities running over capacity, health care workers have been working around the clock to tend to the infected. Doctors, nurses, lab technicians, and other medical personnel are civilians just like us. Despite not having signed up for a life-threatening profession, these workers are exposing themselves to a lethal virus to help all of mankind.
Aside from the physical danger, it is also important to acknowledge the emotional and mental toll of the pandemic on these professionals. Many health care workers have become emotional pillars of strength for patients who are unable to meet their families. They are selflessly giving up time with their own families to comfort those of their patients.
Active duty personnel
The herculean task of implementing social distancing has fallen on active duty officials of all countries. The panic that this unprecedented situation has created has caused a lot of unrest. Our cops have been thwarting mobs, patrolling the streets, and facilitating the lockdown to the best of their abilities. While we cannot overlook certain missteps, we also cannot negate the outstanding efforts and services of the majority of the officials.
Sanitation workers are easily the most underpaid and unnoticed workers in society. Most of us take clean facilities for granted and don’t recognize and respect our janitorial staff, sewage workers, and garbage disposal workers. To contain the spread of the virus, maintaining hygiene and having thorough cleaning of surfaces is of utmost importance. These workers do not have the liberty to stay home and minimize their exposure to the virus.
Food and essential service providers
All those providing people with basic survival like food and medicines are not able to retreat into the safety of their homes either. Our local grocers, fruit and vegetable vendors, and drug store clerks are constantly interacting with customers and putting themselves at a greater risk of contracting the virus so that the rest of us can go on lockdown comfortably.
Teachers and parents Teachers and parents have the onerous task of normalizing an otherwise strange scenario for children. They are enabling online classes, adapting the curriculum to suit virtual learning so that education is not hampered, and are trying to keep kids entertained and occupied within the confines of their homes where activities are limited.
We must remember that even if adults seem to have everything under control, these are extraordinary circumstances for them as well. Maintaining order in the face of adversity cannot be easy, so we should be grateful to them and make it as seamless as possible.
At a juncture where “all for one and one for all” has taken on a whole new meaning, human beings have not disappointed. Stories of acts of kindness are pouring in from across the world. The heartwarming instances of people helping the elderly, distributing food packets, and donating towards relief and research display our strength as a human race. We should be grateful to each individual abiding by social distancing and more so to those who are going the extra mile in helping others.