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This morning on the way to work, I was listening to the local AM talk radio station. During a commercial break, the station aired a spot for an organization supporting “first responders.” For the most part, the ad was unremarkable and what one would expect–the main narrator sounded like a young girl, thanking first responders for keeping people safe and risking their lives each day, followed by a variety of voices (male, female, young, old) all saying “thank you.” But then they cut to the voice of a “first responder”…
His entire quote went something like this (I’m going from memory, so this is a paraphrase): “Each day I go to work worrying about COVID. I do everything in my power to keep myself safe from it and to make sure I don’t bring it back home to my family. So do what you can to keep yourselves safe too.”
Huh?! That was the extent of the “first responder’s” comments. How weirdly self-focused. How unrelated to serving others in need. How divorced from the current realities of COVID. No statement of how he’s glad to serve the community or that he finds great satisfaction in helping others. Just fear of COVID infection to and through him. For someone who might face actual dangerous situations, coming in contact with COVID-positive patients seems like it should be the least of his concerns.
To be honest, I’m not even sure what his point was, although I suspect it was two-fold. One, that we should appreciate how much extra dangerous the job is because of COVID (I’m not sure it was ever true, but it’s definitely not true at this point). Two, although the ad didn’t mention getting vaccinated, that people should make sure they get the shot.
Just one more example of what a strange time we live in. We can’t simply honor the efforts of first responders without trying to make some kind of (completely unrelated) political statement.Published in