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The true superheroes

Something as unprecedented and traumatic as a pandemic can cause a shift in perspective, and it surely has for many of us individually.

As we shift our perspective, we begin to see things we haven’t seen before. And while many recognize the people who are truly heroes in our community, it may have taken something like the COVID-19 pandemic for us to really see it.

When some people think of heroes, they may think of celebrities — actors, musicians, athletes. But the pandemic has put a lot of things into perspective, and one of them is just how much we depend on the people we don’t always think about.

We depend on doctors and nurses, truck drivers and grocery store workers, farmers and trash collectors and letter carriers. We depend on electric linemen and the folks working at the treatment plants and distribution systems for our fresh water and sewage. We depend on police officers, paramedics, firefighters and dispatchers. We depend on restaurant workers and delivery people. We depend on teachers and the people who keep the phone lines working, the people who keep our roads and traffic signals operational, and the people working in public health and social services. We depend on the people working in nonprofit organizations serving those who are most vulnerable.

And it is these people — these heroes of the community — that we wish to honor with a special section that you’ll find inserted in today’s newspaper. (See it here)

We didn’t have room for everybody, but we hope you’ll enjoy reading about representatives from across the Suffolk and Western Tidewater region who will tell you about their careers and how they have changed since the pandemic started. They’ll tell you what inspires them to continue working, even in the face of great personal risk.

Most striking of all, many of them will tell you they’re not a hero. To that, we’ll say something we’ve never said before and probably will never say again: Don’t believe everything you read in the newspaper.

These folks, and their colleagues, are the most heroic people we can think of, and we extend our sincere appreciation for all they have done.