Even as the number of people who have contracted the coronavirus passed the 2 million mark yesterday, a new figure of tribulation emerged amongst the grim flood of trials the world is currently being flooded with: More than 2.5 billion people were counted in action – and self-enforced inaction – working against the coronavirus on the surface of this quietened planet yesterday.
“That’s right,” said Dr. Drew Storey, a researcher at the University Of Toronto’s Centre For Tracking Quiet Heroism, “I said ‘billion’.”
Dr. Storey explained that he and his team arrived at the figure by taking the number of people worldwide who are currently riding out this silent maelstrom of threat and uncertainty in their homes, and adding it to the millions of people staffing essential services in nations everywhere, as humanity attempts to do something never done before: shelter one another from a mass pandemic through sheer cooperation.
“And we thus arrived at a figure of 2.5 billion bonafide heroes, each of whom deserves a ticker tape parade when this is over. But bear in mind the vast majority of these people will deny they are any form of a hero.”
“I’m no hero mate,” said Andy Demann, an attendant at the UK’s Royal London Hospital, as he methodically donned his personal protective equipment for another shift of fighting an unseen enemy armed only with cleaning equipment and stoicism. “I’m just doing my job.”
“A hero?” exclaimed Bess Erhardt, a retired school teacher who hasn’t left her suburban Chicago property in nearly 4 weeks, standing on her empty porch and addressing a visiting reporter who remains at the end of her driveway. “You won’t find one of those here. I’m the only one home!”
She then admitted that conversation was the most she had spoken to someone in person since early March, and that she’s looking forward to seeing her grand-children again, “Once we’ve all stopped saving each other by not seeing each other, of course.”
“No way. Heroes are people like Ant-Man and my mom,” stated Timmy Holmes, 4, of Auckland, New Zealand, who despite having already spent more than 2% of his life in isolation with his family, remains positive. “We just gotta keep making our beds and brushing our teeth guys. We got this.”
While Dr. Storey underscores that the number of global infections continues to climb, and will do for some time, he says that his projections show that the world can expect the number of heroes to rise with it.
“Are we up against it friends?” the doctor asks rhetorically, as he brings the virtual interview to a close. “Yes. But is it up against us? Also yes.”