The COVID-19, like in many other countries of the world, has shaken Bangladesh in multiple ways from the economy to our daily life. Pushing everyone to their limits as everyday is a life with fear, the fear that is from an invisible enemy.
It has on the other hand has showed that people, bound by rules, are out challenging the coronavirus by putting their lives at risk to save fellow humans. Not many of us can do that and those who are doing it are special kind of people.They are our unforgettable brave heroes and deserve to be properly honoured --- dead or alive. The families of the dead should not be forgotten, but also kept in honour in memory of the services to the nation by their loved ones.
“The hero sees values beyond what's possible. That's the nature of a hero. It kills him, of course, ultimately. But it makes the whole struggle of humanity worthwhile,” wrote American novelist John Gardner in describing heroes that matches so much to our very own ones.
Since 8 March 20, the day the country reported its first case of coronavirus, members of the armed forces, BGB, police, Ansar and Rapid Action Battallion (RAB), along with medics and municipal workers have put the lives of others first by putting their lives in imminent danger.
Many of these men and women have told this author that like any other human being, fear did exist with them about the virus, but their pledge to serve humanity, to save lives and to bring smiles to others in this time of grave crisis conquered that fear.
Police have fanned out across the country and many have been posted in remote areas to keep people indoors, which has not been an easy task because a large number of the residents refuse to stay in and go out for farming, fishing or small businesses.
According to police headquarters more than 700 of their 200,000 men and women deployed have fallen victim to coronavirus, while five of them lost the fight with the bug in hospital.These five policemen were fathers, sons and husbands to some. None can feel the loss, none can feel the pain. No words can console them. It is the eternal loss and pain of those who have lost their loved ones.
Call them brave, call them nationalists or call them heroes, but they will never be back physically to love their dear ones. Only those who have lost can understand the loss of others no medals or condolence messages can be balm for their wounds.
It is our second war after the Independence War of 1971. The difference is that in 1971 we fought a visible enemy and now an invisible one which can attack anyone from anywhere.
Yet, these policemen gave their lives and their names will be written in golden letters in our country’s history of health crisis.
Let me quote a young army soldier among the 7,000 men and women from the armed forces. “Death is imminent for all humans. Sooner or later. So, we do not fear death ... We are on duty for our country, our people. We only seek Allah’s divine blessings and prayers you all.”
That has been echoed by doctors, police, RAB and all others frontline workers.
None can bring back the dead, but for now we must ensure the best protection for all of the men and women deployed across Bangladesh amid dangers of being infected by COVID-19 and best treatment for those in hospital with the virus.
The post COVID-19 period is a time to look back. Those who win the battle will have many happy moments to celebrate.
The authorities must not forget the weeping families, especially a little boy quietly wiping his tears in memory of his brave father who won the battle against COVID-19 in saving many lives, but lost his own to the disease.
The brave father or the mother, will never return. The authorities must give their families the life they would have enjoyed if their loved ones survived.
On our part, we salute all of the heroes and pray for the peace of the souls of those who have left for their eternal abode. God bless us all!