Many thanks to the Covid-19 Pandemic Heroes


Maybe it’s because I’m “of a certain age” or Despite the fact that I’m just a cynic, I have a long list of irritations.

Top of the list when it comes to tailgaters is people. It can be risky, so I suppose I could sort of justify this irk. However, a lot of the others just irritate me without any particular cause other than, uh, I don’t know, just because.

As example, it really yanks my chain when I spot that stupid, senseless, ridiculous – even offensive – “fashion style” of one’s pants fastened below the butt. To put it simply, in my opinion, you might want to reconsider how you’re dressing if you have to waddle while moving, holding your pants up with one hand to prevent them from plotzing down to your ankles. I’ll admit it—I’m not sure why it irritates me so much, but it does.

Another annoyance of mine is the “inflation” of the word “hero,” now tasked to depict virtually anyone who does what is expected of them – or even less – with no sacrifice of their own.

“She walks her dog every day; she is a true heroine.”

“My kids clean their rooms on their own; they are heroes.”

Really? Can I be a hero just because I managed to pay my bills or get out of my pajamas while stifling the terror and subsequent paralysis I had to deal with on a daily basis during the pandemic? We’re all doing it, so I don’t think so; by definition, no one can be a hero.

A definition of hero is, “a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character; or who, in the opinion of others, has special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model or ideal.”

The crisis in which we find ourselves has indeed brought forth genuine, true-to-life, tangible heroes, who despite risk, continue to push forward, contributing to the greater good while jeopardizing their own. I considered it an honor and appropriate to call them out in the midst of all the chaos, confusion, and anxiety of these days.

Thank you to the delivery folks; UPS, FedEx, post office employees, and all the others who bring those of us “sheltering in place” what we need to do as well as we can under extreme circumstances. To provide us with almost everything we need, from groceries to office supplies to cosmetics, they take a daily risk of virus exposure. It’s been far too long since we acknowledged their contributions. They are our lifelines that keep us operating and, for the most part, sane. We appreciate your continued service.

While on the subject of necessities, who would ever think that our role models would include the clerks and staff of supermarkets, hardware stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and other businesses deemed “essential”? They might be crucial to the public good but maintaining that good can indeed be harmful to those who show up each day at work, protected from exposure only (and not always) by thin latex gloves, social distancing, and – if “lucky” – a plastic shield between them and us. We appreciate your service.

With all due respect to those mentioned above, I must first and foremost express my gratitude to those who have served on the front lines of this war: healthcare professionals like nurses, doctors, PAs, medical technicians, ER teams, and even administrative staff. Tragically and wrongly, they are overworked, overloaded, and exhausted to the limit. But despite the great personal risk, they continue to advance head down onto the beach, under constant fire, unwavering in their mission, much like the waves of soldiers who invaded Normandie during World War II. Their own needs have been put on the back burner in favor of the needs of the vulnerable, ill, and frightened. Instead of enlisting as soldiers, they chose to dedicate their lives to the healing arts. They are the committed, brave, and courageous heroes who are leading the charge in this struggle for survival, but there they are. No words can adequately express our gratitude and appreciation for your service and sacrifice. Knowing that we could do more is all that is necessary.

No ticker-tape parade down Fifth Avenue will take place once this is all over. We will be unable to salute the service members going back to the home front. No keys to the city will be handed out while a grateful neighborhood applauds their sacrifices. But they will be the ones to have reintroduced light to us. They are the ones who will improve both the general public’s and our own health. We owe them a great deal, and we will never be able to pay them back.

“Thank you” rings hollow but it is so deeply felt. You are important to us and we see you. You are modern-day angels in our eyes, and we care.

Please take care of yourself and stay safe. Take care of one another.

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