7th April of every year is celebrated as World Health day. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the globe from all corners and leaving no trails but only death in its path, we are faced more than ever with a common enemy and an existential threat that endangers our common humanity . An enemy we can’t even see with our naked eyes but whose lethal power has is grossly felt. In the battle we are waging, there are no clear enemy lines. Rich or impoverished, young or old; this enemy doesn’t really choose its victims. Our billion dollar drones can’t shoot it down remotely and stockpiles of nuclear war heads are useless in this type of asymmetric warfare.
Not all heroes wear capes contrary to what Marvel has made us believe. Thanos and his team of super heroes are nowhere to be found-they’re probably in self isolation. However, there are a different breed of super heroes on the front lines; Medical doctors, nurses, laboratory scientists and a host of other brave healthcare personnel pushing forward despite the odds. There are no gauntlets on their hands, they’re not strapped with guns or protected with bullet-proof vests. They are pushing the enemy back with passion and love for humanity. Saving lives at the cost their own.
Regardless of the theme for this years’ World health day, the common theme I believe is survival. More than ever we must choose faith over fear, courage over cowardice. However, the question begs to be answered if we can call it a celebration. Shall we celebrate? .Yes we will! We will celebrate the lives of the millions of health care workers who are fighting our common enemy. We will celebrate the lives of the hundreds if not thousands of health care professionals who looked at death in the eye and didn’t run away but paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives. Our celebration however will not be complete if we don’t remember those who lives have been devastated by this virus. This celebration will not be complete if we don’t hold our breath for those who became breathless. It will just be another day if we don’t bridle our tongue and remember with the greatest solemnity the aged who gave their ventilators for the young. Our celebration will turn to mourning if we don’t remember the ones who blew the alarm about the enemy.
This is a battle we must win. We must strongly believe in our steadfast resolve to survive as a specie. We will charge and fight and never look back till we have conquered our enemy. We will smile, we would cry, but in due time we will heal because we know deep down, that death is not the end and our greatest power in the gift of one another!