The Other Heroes

We hear and read a lot these days about the Superheroes of Covid-19, the medical professionals who are saving lives (and being there for ends of lives while families are banned from the hospitals). A nurse-friend shared this today, posted by another nurse: 

"I’m a CTICU RN in the Mount Sinai Health system in NYC, although my unit has now been transformed to COVID only. We’re used to critically ill patients, but were also used to being able to save a few of those lives. For every medical code we’ve called, we lost every single one. Thankful that last night it was only 3 poor souls who passed on our unit, the night before 5 patients expired in just a span of 2 hours. TWO HOURS."

When I worked as a chaplain in my local hospital, I attended every Code. I stayed out of the way so that the team could do their thing. I would marvel at the choreography of their work: each person knew her or his job and did it efficiently and without drama. My particular role was twofold: (a) to support family members of the patient and (b) to be there for the team at the end of the Code. Nowadays I'm doing that very Lutheran thing of holding two conflicting positions at the same time: I am thankful that I am no longer working in the hospital because of the terrible risk to me and my husband as senior citizens and simultaneously, I wish wish wish I were still there, able to be a small piece of the effort to fight this damn thing.

But that's not what this post is about.

It's about The Other Heroes.

The other day, during senior hours, I ventured to the grocery store, a well-known chain in our area that is distinctive for employing intellectually challenged people. There, in his usual spot unpacking and loading produce, was "Albert," a fellow who years ago had been a member of our Cub Scout Troop. Who, back then, would have thought that this kid, so very different from all of the other Bears and Wolves and Webelos, would be laying his precious life on the line so we could eat?

My great-niece-by-marriage posts on Facebook her concern for her husband. He works at a drug store. He's not a pharmacist, he's a manager, he's the guy who keeps the place going. Where would we all be without Ben and his ilk?

And finally, a post from Bailey's friend,

"I wish I could just stay home. I get tired of hearing 'At least you have a job right now.' But at what cost? I work in a warehouse that supplies medical facilities so we are deemed "essential"; we are also often forgotten. Every day I go to work knowing -- fearing -- what .  . . I will be bringing home to our family."

Let's take a moment to acknowledge -- and pray for -- all of The Other Heroes, the ones we take for granted, the ones who are not visible.


Karla said…
Thank you for this post. I so worry about my son, a manager of a well known pharmacy in NE Philly. Luckily I am locked in location in NJ, so he can stay at my house away from his loved ones. He has sacrificed for all of us, putting his very life on the line.
Be well.
Barbara Anne said…
What you've written is so very true and what has come to my mind are all those wonderful folks who are delivering groceries and medicines to the homes of those who should stay in and all the other workers in a myriad of jobs who keep things as normal as possible for the rest of us.

Like you, I wish I could be back at work as a nurse but cannot due to age and my compromised immune system. If only ...

Stay safe, everyone!

Anonymous said…
Thank you for the recognition of ALL the people on the front lines. I certainly needed this reminder, and will add them to my prayer list.
Quiltdivajulie said…
Like our oldest son who works in a hospital supporting the technical needs of the doctors and staff - no working from home for any of the employees in their six hospital system (he's at the childrens hospital). Thank you - the "helpers" as Mr. Rogers called them are everywhere, especially in places we don't normally expect (warehouses rooms, computer systems rooms, etc.)
Robby said…
So true. And you know, I can't imagine many grocery clerks and baggers and produce people, etc applied for those jobs thinking a) they would be critically important, and b) their work could kill them. I try to thank the people working that I have contact with when I do venture out. And the ones I know from years of interaction I try to ask them in a meaningful way how they are doing.
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Quayquilter said…
We are putting thank you notes on our garbage bins and I've thanked our local shop and our farmers market type shop for staying open. We plan to go to a supermarket next week on day 28 as we will be running out of ground coffee by then. And I am engrossed in quilt making. I am thankful for this hobby/passion. And I am keeping up with more social media.