This year our remembrances should be dedicated not only to our beloved ones but also to the over a million people who have left their life because of Covid-19. They were taken by a common disease, and will hopefully inspire those who survive to find a way forward for a better world.
In particular I want to advocate a special tribute to doctors, nurses and all medical staff who touched everyone’s heart during the pandemic because of one special quality they all show to have in common: dedication.
Last Spring, when nobody knew much of what the danger of the new virus was and how the contagion was going to affect us, retired doctors and nurses were called back to work on a voluntary bases and many answered to the call: they stepped in to help facing the threat posed by Covid-19 even though it was evident that this new virus was a nasty threat to everyone.
Despite the personal risk of life, those doctors and nurses joined their overloaded colleagues all over the country. Many of them ended up to catch the disease and quite a number didn’t survive.
Those doctors and nurses were not looking for a personal reward but saving lives: saving the life of others before theirs.
In those days my mind went to that old motto that was spoken by gladiators in the ancient Rome: Mors tua, vita mea; your death, my life.
There was a motto spoken by gladiators in Ancient Rome before entering their deadly battle: “mors tua, vita mea”. This motto has dominated the social life for centuries and still circulates and is alive where people compete for money, for power or any other goal they want to achieve at any cost: “mors tua, vita mea”, “your death, my life”.
In this pandemic doctors and nurses have been committed to save the life of others and with their deeds and dedication have silently turned that motto upside down, transforming it in fact into a modern professional statement: “your life, my commitment”. This is not written in a poster nor shouted on the streets: it is in their deeds.
With their professional, ethical actions they have simply sowed the most significant seed for a future society based on fraternity:
“your life, my commitment”.
Because of their mission and dedication doctors and nurses deserve to be looked after by the society that has to provide a safe environment for them to work in and the adequate financial reward.
Thank you all, doctors, nurses and all medical workers!
[a National Doctor’s Day is on 30th March in the USA: what about a Doctor Appreciation Day also in the UK and elsewhere?]