When we hear the word “hero,” the first image that comes to mind is of someone wearing a big cape and flaunting a symbol on their chest. Kind of like Batman, Superman, or Spiderman. But there are everyday people who deserve the title too — and the COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the real heroes of society.
Throughout the last two years of the pandemic, everyday people have stood up and marched fearlessly to lend a hand to those impacted by the pandemic. They risked their lives exposing themselves to the virus to be there for those who needed them the most.
It’s high time to pay recognition to the modern-day heroes who, through courage, dedication, and hard work, have helped America conquer the global health threat.
COVID-19’s Healthcare Heroes
When cases surged and lockdowns were imposed, employees of most industries were allowed to work from the comfort of their homes. But healthcare workers had to charge the battlefield despite tens and thousands of infections that put a risk on their health and safety.
During the peak of the pandemic when daily case counts landed thousands, death tolls were in the hundreds and hospitals were overloaded, healthcare workers were right there on the frontlines, pioneering the road to healing and recovery. They were regular people who had not an ounce more immunity than we do. But they had the courage to serve others over themselves.
Impact of COVID-19 on First Responders
Nurses, doctors, and first responders fell ill too. The CDC estimates over a million COVID-19 cases and 4,120 fatalities associated with healthcare workers in the U.S. COVID-19 has been the leading cause of death among members of the healthcare industry for two years running. But aside from the plague of illnesses and fatalities, our front liners also suffered trauma, exhaustion, and stress.
Legislation Supporting COVID-19 Heroes
Since the dawn of the pandemic, strides have been made to support front liners and their contribution to the COVID-19 battle. In the early days, the U.S. government provided personal protective equipment to health workers and prioritized them in receiving their COVID-19 vaccines.
Recently, the U.S. Congress passed a clinician mental health bill to provide frontline workers with resources and support to prevent or alleviate stress, burnout, and other mental health conditions. This is in the form of employee education, training, and peer-support programming.
Owing Gratitude to COVID-19 Heroes
Despite healthcare workers standing on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19, many individuals are unaware of the extent of their sacrifice. These heroes risked their lives to help others throughout the pandemic, mustering grit, courage, and drive against all odds.
Truth be told, we would not be this close to the finish line without them. We owe them our gratitude, and that starts with the recognition of their goodwill toward all of us. Even regular people can be heroes when faced with impossible odds, and we owe our significant progress to our COVID-19 heroes.