This crippling time has obliged us to stay indoors, observe social distancing, and wash our hands frequently and thoroughly, so we can help flatten the COVID-19 curve. For months now, this global pandemic has been giving us anxieties and worries that mount as the numbers of positive cases increase (see https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ for real-time updates). From dawn to dusk, we are glued to screens for updates and have been playing our part to buoy up each other from this walking-a-tightrope time.
But while we keep our doors closed, there are people who step outside not just to do their jobs but to keep our society together, who weather the storm to give us a rainbow of hope, and who work longer hours when the exigencies of our current condition called for it. To say they are compassionate is an understatement. To say they are heroes might be a little closer to the truth.
No, they are not wearing capes, they are in their uniforms with masks as their shield. And no, they are not flying, they are walking and running from here to there to save the day!
They are the health professionals who have always been at the front attending to patients; they are the chemists and scientists who are devotedly doing research to address COVID-19;
they are the pilots, flight attendants, and air traffic controllers who mount special flights for stranded Filipino passengers; they are the journalists and news reporters who get out there to give us the news and updates we need; they are the lauded team of University of the Philippines who quickly came up with test kits; they are the proactive government officials who really act to be of service to their people; they are the supermarket owners and workers who have to deal with panic-stricken Filipino buyers with immense patience; they are the drugstore clerks who try their best to provide the right medicine to irate customers; they are the fast food chain workers and delivery riders who take, assemble, and deliver your food orders to your doorstep; they are the bank employees who help patrons with their transactions to keep afloat and make ends meet; they are the hailing drivers who help our health workers get to their assigned stations;
they are the street vendors who choose to open their store so people can purchase their basic needs within arm’s reach; they are the security guards and military personnel who are tasked to strictly check our body temperature; they are the volunteers, fundraisers, and donors who commit to raise funds for personal protection equipment for the testing teams; the list goes on with equal light.
We may be having our hearts broken seeing these horrendous situations unfold before our eyes, and thinking that these frontliners are out there exposed to the virus, coming to terms that left them no choice. But the same hearts crack open with thanks and respect knowing that these events brought emerging heroes who deserve the world’s salute and hail. We may never understand how their fear towers every time they brave another day, but we have both of our hands together for their safety and strength. Our frontliners’ selflessness and willingness to save are what will cement our society back together.
To everyone who are enjoying the comforts of your home, let us stay indoors for our frontliners who are staying at work for us.
Words by Clarice Oyales