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Heroes Lost. Heroes Remembered.
Dear Steady Community,
Can we agree, at least here, that COVID is not over?
Thousands of people are dying every day in this country, not to mention the rest of the world. And even when, hopefully sooner rather than later, the case counts dwindle, COVID will still remain with us.
It will speak to us in a generation of loss and pain.
It will linger in those suffering from long COVID.
It will reappear in the aftershocks of disruption.
It will fester in the tragic fraying of our social fabric.
But the suffering will be particularly acute for those who have lost loved ones. I especially pray for the children, young and old, who will never again hear a parent say, “I love you.” To even write these words brings a shudder to the soul.
The numbers of the deceased are so mind-numbing that those of us who have been lucky not to see death up close risk losing sight of the human dimension of this global tragedy.
We need to guard against that, and make sure that neither us nor the world forgets what has transpired.
These thoughts flooded forth when we came across a string of tweets from a courageous woman we follow on Twitter. Pamela Addison lost her husband Martin, a health care worker, to COVID early in the pandemic. He was 44 years old and left behind two very young children.
We asked if we could share her story here with you, and she graciously agreed.
Tragedy has been compounded by those who have politicized death without empathy or shame.
The burden of this pandemic has been borne unevenly - especially for health care workers (HCW).
Cruel lies exacerbate the pain.
Imagine living a personal tragedy and being told your pain isn’t real.
Empathy and kindness are the least we can give to those who are suffering.
Please keep Pamela, her children, her family, and all those who are similarly suffering in your thoughts and prayers. In the comments section here let us provide her and others who are grieving with our love and support.
If you also have lost loved ones or want to share your own stories, please do so if you feel comfortable. And let us remember that pain and grief come in many forms, and many are touched in ways that might not be apparent. So please reach out to others to see how they’re doing, and let people know if you are in need of help.
Let us stare directly into the pain, together. Let us acknowledge its reality. Let us build upon strength that can come from a community of support and empathy.
Health care professionals have been, and continue to be, heroes. They are frontline soldiers in the war against this deadly virus. So are those who stocked shelves and kept supply lines running. We also owe a deep debt to the scientists who rushed to understand this elusive killer and developed vaccines, treatments, and tests.
These are the armies of helpers who have served tour after tour of duty, often putting their own health at risk while facing cruel hostility from those they sought to help. And they are the ones who will be called again - for the next variant, or the next pandemic.
We need a national movement to honor these heroes. We need memorials to tell their story to future generations. We need their children and loved ones to feel the warmth of our appreciation. We need to let them know that their heroes are our heroes, and that they are remembered and cherished.
I don’t know if it’s parades of thanks, a day of mourning, a national teach-in. I am not so naive as to be blind to the fact that such efforts will be met with resistance or even belligerence. But we cannot be deterred. It is up to us to raise up our voices to drown out those who will sow hate. We can demonstrate that from the soil of heartbreak we can cultivate flowers of hope and remembrance.