MY LOCKDOWN HERO
Of course, there have been, and continue to be, thousands of heroes throughout Britain, but unfortunately I don’t know the names of the front-line brigade who have keep everyone, in many cases, alive, who ensure there is food for all, and keep the essential services required to retain a modicum of normality.
So the name that does come to mind is now very famous, at least in and around Britain; a chap popularly known as Captain Tom, now Sir Tom!
It all started innocuously enough on April 6th with the sprightly 99-year-old former British Army officer attempting to raise £1,000 by his 100th birthday just 24 days later, by slowly completing one hundred 25-metre laps of his garden, using a walking frame. The group of charities for which he was fundraising supports staff, volunteers and patients in the British National Health Service, which of course was creaking at the seams dealing with the pandemic.
The media ran a brief account of his extraordinary efforts and it went nationwide within minutes, buoyed by the rare feel-good factor of this story which was surrounded in all new bulletins by death tolls and general misery and pessimism. By the time his birthday came around, over £30,000,000 had been donated by 1,500,000 people, and he was in possession of some 150,000 well-wishing cards.
There is no doubt that Britain’s affection for the N.H.S., which has been massively underfunded by successive dip-shit governments, helped to raise this extraordinary sum. Obviously, Captain Tom was utterly delighted with the response though I feel he may not have been so comfortable with the star-status created by constant media attention – that was not his goal at the start of his little personal campaign. My goodness though, what a successful few days that was, cheered on by a grateful if beleaguered nation.
There is one other person whom I would consider a heroine during the lockdown, though she most certainly wouldn’t agree, citing that there were thousands in a similar position. But I feel my granddaughter Paige deserves a shout. A single mum, and a full-time student in her final year at the Eastern Mediterranean University in North Cyprus, suddenly found herself and one-year-old Laith completely isolated for several weeks, during which the temperatures rose to over 40C in the day, and only down to 30C at night for a period!
Throughout the ordeal, there was no moaning and groaning from the young lady, who created countless new games and activities for little Laith, trying to take his attention away from the fact that overnight, he lost any contact with other people, including his extremely sad great-grandparents. Add to that the complete lockdown in operation, with nobody allowed outside even for a walk, and you can only imagine the difficulty for a young mum.
Anyway, for both 100-year old Sir Tom, and a barely 1-year old Laith, they both survived. Laith won’t remember any of this, but Paige will certainly never forget the year 2020, a pandemic to deal with, before graduating with an honours degree. So proud. And well done Sir Tom, we’ll never forget you either!
My Lockdown Hero
Question: does your country close ranks and follow it’s leader in time of crisis? The Americans do; after 9-11 “W” had poll numbers that would make Putin blush. We call it rallying ‘round the flag. For a month or two, the US President has almost unlimited powers to deal with whatever the crisis has presented.
Being long of tooth, I can remember several such moments but this is the first one I recall where there has been no rallying around the flag. Unfortunately this crisis, like any other random weekday afternoon, is driven by hyper-partisan rants which the majority find, well, hyper off-putting.
The President has decided not to lead the nation but instead lead the Trumpian wing of the Republican Party. So if it looks like those damn libtards will wear face masks, then a real man will never wear one. In fact, if they dare lock us down, Trump will (and has) agitated for rebellion. This is a US President who has encouraged rebellion against US States — IF those states have a Governor from that other party.
To put that into context, as you know the US is only months away from an election. An epic gift; the opportunity to have an 80 to 90% approval ratings going into that election, fell from the sky via flights from China and this man decided he would rather rage on Twitter. You may wish to read that again.
Wanna’ guess who is not my Lock-Down Hero?
However, I am not without an obvious choice: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. If you’re not an American, a little background is in order: Of Cuomo, CNN said: “It’s not that Cuomo was previously regarded as a bad manager — it’s that he was an unpopular one.” Yeah, the guy was on his way out the door when Covid-19 hit.
So, let’s compare two leaders:
- Daddy gave him a head start
- Unpopular going into the crisis
- Has a heavy-handed leadership style
- Thinks of himself as a hard charging, straight shooter
As you can see, they have lots in common. Fortunately for the two old white men who will run for the White House, one of the two above will not enter the race for President.
The obvious question is: why did Como rise to the job and lead his State, while Trump shrank from the challenge? The answer is actually more simple than you would guess: Como has sat politics aside. Flying to Washington to meet Trump, Como is working tirelessly on behalf of all his citizens. That’s all… it really is that simple.
Como has used science, not politics, to guide his recommendations, and for that, he’s my lock-down hero.
My Lockdown Hero
Before writing this blog I’ve spent some time and figured out that I couldn’t pick a definite person to be my hero. It is surely not Russia’s president as he, as it is rumored, is hiding deep in the bunker somewhere in the Valdai area while COVID-19 is spreading up there on the surface of his country. It is not Moscow’s mayor Sergey Sobyanin, too, as he does (in general, effectively) what he’s got to do in this position anyway. It is not anybody else that I know.
Then I found out who my lockdown hero might be.
Imagine an ordinary Russian doctor fighting the virus in a small provincial hospital loaded with infected patients. You should know that Russia’s hospitals in general are not the most advanced ones in the world. Working overtime, dressed in special anti-virus gear, with a mask on his/her face. Doing day and night multi-hour shifts. Not even able to get out of the restricted area and have a snack or visit toilet during these long hours because of the quarantine rules. Exhausted, with the extra-money payment promise by the government but often, as media reports, being delayed – which is intolerable but this is life… The hospital is not fully prepared to fight the influx of the patients but the fight is on thanks to those doctors whose names I’ll never know. Saving other people’s lives while risking their own. Something that I couldn’t do simply because of my profession.
By the way, I’ve heard one name, Osman Osmanov, an anesthesiologist from Moscow’s famous Filatov hospital. I was impressed by the Associated Press photo report on his relentless work in the intensive care unit. He is the perfect example of my Lockdown Hero but I know there’re countless numbers of doctors like him out there, in the coronavirus frontlines all over the country, working in worse conditions.
I’ve heard, too, from a friend whose parents are doctors that some of their colleagues had actually died from coronavirus: they’ve been working in hospitals treating patients. This is the closest proximity from me to COVID-19 so far.
Yes, there will be questions to the WHO and, surely, China. We’ve written about it in RUSUK already. But it will be later, when the war is won to a point that we all can fully get back to normality.
Now to me the Lockdown Hero would be just a doctor from Russian one-horse town doing his job. Right now as I write this blog in Moscow in the middle of the night…