Charlene Lange, Iowa City
Growing up, we had actions figures. We created worlds where evil lurked and our hero saved the day. As we grew, we learned about action heroes in real life. A woman rushes a group to the next stop on the Underground Railroad. A politician defies pressure from constituents and saved 20,000 orphaned Jews from the Nazis. A fireman rushes into the World Trade Center.
Men and women of action ready to answer the call to help others while putting themselves in danger. We have them today in this crisis. Grocery clerks get up every day to put food on everyone’s table. The hospital administrators trying to find supplies to keep doctors and nurses safe. The EMTs rushing to a “simple” heart attack patient hoping there’s no virus in the home. We have many of these heroes of action and we need many more.
There is another kind of hero these days. Behind-the-lines heroes. Heroes who self-isolate and who stay at home. Heroes who don’t travel. Heroes who understand why no proms or graduation parties. Heroes keeping themselves and their kids occupied and sane. Heroes talking through the web teaching others how to do Facebook time. Heroes writing emails to tell their politicians to lower the curve. Heroes listening to scientists on ways to keep safe. Heroes who consider themselves an unproven carrier are social distancing and self-isolating. These heroes are home, out of the public eye, connecting through social media with family, neighbors and friends to give facts, support and virtual hugs. We are all interconnected.
So if you are an action hero or behind-the-lines hero, thank you. If you are not, please stay put and save our hospitals and us.