By AA Patawaran
I t’s a time of heroes.
The pandemic, from the very beginning, has brought out the very best and the very worst of us as individuals and as a people. But modern-day heroism is no longer the heroism we used to study in history or mythology books. Heroism is no longer limited to a great show of courage in the face of adversity, no longer limited to feats of ingenuity and strength that are often the stuff of fiction or legend.
In this crisis that all over the world, anywhere in the world, we share in common, though our circumstances and the means with which we can combat it are different, it’s heroic enough that, despite a virus that brought over 213 nations and territories across the globe down on their knees, some of us remain unperturbed, going about our daily duties as if oblivious of the risks.
We gave these heroes a new name— frontliners. They are legion, our nurses, our doctors principally, but also our traffic aides, garbage collectors, truck drivers, streetsweepers, security guards, delivery personnel, even those of us who have dutifully stayed home during the many phases of the ongoing quarantine to keep ourselves and others safe. But we take our hats off particularly to the people who carry on despite danger and difficulty to keep the wheels of a still normal society turning.
It is true, after all, that we can only fight this virulent virus together. No one is safe unless we all are. If anything positive has emerged out of this pandemic it is our collective realization of our responsibility toward each other. The wearing of masks as well as the resolve to observe the mandated physical distancing measures, if only as an act of solidarity, not so much to protect ourselves as to protect the people around us, is also a heroic virtue at this time when proximity, even without any outward sign or symptom of the disease, is all it takes to succumb to our unseen enemy.
This issue of Sunday Bulletin is a tribute to the heroes in us all, headlined by some of us whose deeds exemplify our collective resolve to go beyond the call of duty, if we must, if circumstances call for it, if it should lead us to victory.
In this dark cloud, the darkest we have seen in contemporary history, there is indeed a silver lining and the silver burns bright as we let out the heroes we need so desperately now.