Some kind of hero

March 23, 2020

Over the past few days, I’ve looked through some old books that present accounts of living through experiences that are somewhat comparable to what we’re all going through now.

What becomes apparent in stories—as well as in our own lived experience—is that in the context of a pandemic, our survival and wellbeing call for a very different kind of heroism. Rather than the traditional sort of hero, most of the heroes we need to defeat the pandemic are a kind of dream-team collective who stay inside, practice patience, provide support and encouragement from a distance, and wrestle bravely with isolation and the disruption of routine. 

Meanwhile, some of the unique heroes of the pandemic demonstrate their heroism by just going about their essential business—stocking shelves and operating cash registers, delivering food and supplies, responding to crisis calls, and seeing patients—all while exposing themselves to heightened risk of infection.

And, of course, some of the hardest-pressed heroes of this pandemic are those who must find the resources and inner strength to endure hardships of unemployment and economic distress.

The pandemic gives each of us an opportunity to be some kind of a hero. What kind of a hero can you be today? Who have the heroes of the pandemic been for you? We’d love to hear your stories.