It almost seems like pandering to write anything more about the people on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But no matter how much praise is heaped on them, it becomes apparent with every death it was not nearly enough; that words can’t ever express the gratitude we feel and the debt we owe.
The stories are coming out now, but they are coaxed — the first nurse who flung himself or herself into the disease-filled room to try and get the ventilator to work properly; the cop or EMT called into a late-night crisis who enters a room of coughing people who should be quarantined. The Good Samaritan rushing to save a citizen in distress knowing he or she is risking his or her own health to do so.
These are really no different than the heroes of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks — those who ran into a canyon of flames to answer the cries of those trapped. Heroes exhibit the rarest of attributes; courage in the face of death. They are doing the kind of work most of us are afraid to do, because there is something inside them only the rarest of us possess.
In the backdrop, their families wait by the phone or gather around the table, knowing that the dreaded novel coronavirus is everywhere outside of that front door, the door mom or dad ran through a few hours ago because they got the call — someone, probably a stranger, needed them.
Hopefully, we, as a society, will be able to reward them some day when we finally realize those who wear the scrubs, carry the badges, and answer the call aren’t the stereotypes painted by a few disgruntled in our community. They are the very best in our community, and someday we will be able to go out on the street again — together — and thank them for what they have done during this nightmare.