Well, it is day 525,600 of quarantine. We are holding steady into quarantine while the virus rages outside. Inside our homes, safely, we watch as the clock moves forward, but not believing what we are seeing before us.
Or, it has only been a couple of months. Who knows anymore?
I know for many of us, for a variety of reasons, it has been a time unlike any other. At one point or another in our lives, we are experienced a national moment. For me, the only other “national moment” I ever experienced in some way was back in September of 2001 when a series of terrorist attacks rocked a nation and shocked a global community. I remember in the days and weeks since that morning. I remember the many people who came to New York to help clear the rubble, in the hopes of finding a survivor. I remember seeing the lines of people going to local blood banks and donating blood to help those hurt and injured that day. I remember how it did not matter who you were, what you thought, what you believed, and whom you loved. We all, what political scientists would say, is we “rallied around the flag.” Although, we, as a global community, also rallied around each other, our fellow people to focus on doing good, because evil cannot ever triumph, because good has something that evil cannot ever understand: love.
I know this all sounds like a giant cliché, and perhaps it is. But I think we, as a community of people, not just those of use who loved capes, cowls, lightsabers, and starships, have come together during the current health crisis to try and do the most comic book thing ever: save lives by stopping the spread. We are currently, slowly beginning to now get into a new phase of the times and I know many of us want to “get back to normal.” Believe me, I want nothing else but to go back to whatever we all think is normal. But not yet. As noted by many health experts, we are not there yet. We must be like Batman.
I can already hear the double-take you just did going back to reread that last line. Be like Batman?
Yes, be like Batman.
Well, because Batman is awesome. Also, because Batman is perfect for this situation: Bruce Wayne, as we all know, became Batman because he did not want anyone else to feel the same pain and tragedy that he felt that night in crime alley when he lost his parents, whom he loved.
Are you ready for me to swing back to the “love” bit, Batman, and the national moment? Here we go:
Many mental health experts can say a lot about why Bruce Wayne became Batman. In fact, there is even a book devoted to this topic (click here). However, I would posit another reason Batman does what he does: love. He loved his parents more than anything. He loves his father figure (and butler) Alfred Pennyworth. He loves those who took on the mantle of Robin and those others in his “Bat-family.” But most of all, he loved Gotham and wanted to ensure that he both protected those he loved and the people so they could continue to love those in the way he does and did. Today, we have that moment to continue to protect those whom we love and care about. Whether it is your friend who is immunocompromised, or your grandparent(s), or just simply each other. You have the chance to put on your mask (over your nose and mouth), follow guidelines like social distancing, and continue to save lives. Not because you were told to, but because you love your friends, your family, and everyone else.