The coronavirus crisis has been challenging for everyone. Still, the truth of the matter is that most of us are simply being asked to sit at home, and in so doing save lives.
Many others have been called to extraordinary action. Last week, Israel as a nation took to our balconies to publicly applaud the heroic medical personnel who are on the frontlines of this battle. Our police officers likewise deserve recognition as they try to keep a restless population under control.
Those are the obvious heroes. But there are many other largely-unseen and tragically-unsung heroes helping us to get through one of the biggest global events of our time.
The government has ordered nearly all stores and business closed, except for supermarkets, grocery and corner food stores, and pharmacies. And the those working at those vital outlets, from the butcher to the check-out clerk, are just as much on the frontlines of this, as they daily come into contact with any number of potentially-infected people.
Still on the job
That’s fine and good for those of us able to leave the house. But some are in mandatory isolation, and people over 65 or who have preexisting medical conditions shouldn’t venture outside for any reason. And so the nation’s delivery men are working feverishly to fulfill an unprecedented number of orders, similarly coming into contact with more people than they should to ensure we have everything we need.
But perhaps the most unsung heroes are those who are not taking advantage of the crisis to make a quick buck when they easily could do so.
I was most struck by the reality of how we are all in this together not by watching my wife head off three nights a week to do her shifts at the hospital, but by the fact that the nearby corner store had actually lowered prices on essential food stuffs.
If there was ever a time to effectively price-gouge, this is it. And some unscrupulous people surely are doing so. But most aren’t. Most are trying to help their communities by making the goods we need day-to-day more cheaply available. And the importance of that can’t be overstated, as over 600,000 Israelis have filed for unemployment amid the coronavirus crisis.
And so, as we salute and applaud the visible heroes, let’s not forget those who are quietly and behind-the-scenes putting their lives and livelihoods at risk for the good of all.