It has been said not all superheroes wear capes. These days, they wear masks, gloves, gowns and protective face shields.
But they also move mail and packages, drive trucks, stock shelves, deliver pizza and collect trash.
It’s easy to identify the heroes of the coronavirus epidemic. It’s the usual folks — police officers, firefighters, ambulance drivers, doctors, nurses and other medical staffers who are on the front lines keeping many Americans safe and alive. We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude for their service to our nation and our community. Same for the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, which has raised more than $11 million in one week to help Nevada’s medical system continue to function in its battle against the coronavirus.
Truth is, they’re all heroic on a daily basis. Whether it’s taking a bullet from a criminal, rushing into a burning building, hustling the sick and injured to hospitals and then having doctors and nurses treat those afflicted, we see greatness performed every day. Perhaps and unfortunately, we sometimes take their work for granted.
More often, we take for granted the truck driver who delivers dairy, produce and daily household needs to stores, big and small, every day. We count on the post office to deliver the mail, for UPS, FedEx and Amazon to bring us packages. We go online, we order pizza, and someone makes that pizza and delivers it to our door.
You may not look at them as heroes. But they are performing an important service. They are keeping the supply chain intact. They are giving you sustenance.
They are keeping you and me alive.
I don’t go out often these days. I stay in my house, work from my kitchen table, knocking out columns such as this to help you get your minds off the coronavirus, even if it’s for just a couple of minutes. Try to get you to pace and think.
What little I do venture out to get supplies or run an errand, I make sure to always end my interaction with the other person by saying, “Stay safe.”
They may be appreciative. Perhaps they’re not. They don’t know me. They don’t know if I’m a carrier of COVID-19. And they don’t know if the person who was in line in front of me or the person who is six feet behind (hopefully) has it. When you’re at the supermarket, you can avoid as many people as you try to. But eventually, you’re going to come within inches of the person checking you out. Unless, that is, you opt to self-checkout your purchases. And even then, you’re still close.
There’s no social distancing at that point. They’re trying to protect themselves the best they can, wearing masks, gloves and scanning your items as quickly as they can.
It’s a grocery version of Russian Roulette. You don’t know which person is a COVID-19 carrier.
Imagine if they were told to stay home. Imagine the supermarkets being closed. Or the pharmacies. Or the restaurants that are still allowing you to carry-out or deliver to your house. What if everything simply ground to a halt and you had to fend for yourself with what you had been able to purchase, or in some cases, horde, not knowing when it will be O.K.?
Thre’s no question these have been and continue to be scary times for all of us. We’re yearning for the most elementary things like having interaction with our friends. We want to go to sporting events, to concerts, to the movies. Even a trip to Starbucks and being able to sit outside.
But that’s all on hold. Millions of Americans are out of work and more are going to become unemployed in the coming days and weeks. Many of those who are fortunate to have a job are risking their own health to make sure you can survive until this crisis subsides to the point where we can think about getting our lives back to some sort of normalcy.
If that isn’t the definition of a hero, I don’t know what is.