While highlighting work done by 1st responders and health care workers, COVID-19 pandemic yields unexpected heroes


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The COVID-19 pandemic has created unexpected dangers, but also unexpected heroes. Many never imagined their jobs would put them at risk.

Some jobs come with more danger than others. Firefighters rush into burning buildings. Police officers confront active shooters. Soldiers go to war knowing they may not come home. They take on these jobs aware of the dangers and are known as heroes in their communities.

Most careers are not dangerous most of the time. Now, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, jobs never considered risky are suddenly some of the most hazardous.

Geraldine Yancey is the executive director of the Canterbury Assisted Living Facility in Roxboro. She said there have not been any cases of the coronavirus at the facility. But with outbreaks at other assisted living centers and nursing homes across the country, she can’t help but worry.

“It is very stressful, but the only thing we can do, I can do, and anyone else really, is pray,” she said.

She prays and protects everyone as much as possible. She said the staff wears personal protective equipment and keeps residents separated.

“We cannot prevent what is happening. We can just use the methods that have been put before us (such as) washing our hands using our equipment.”

It’s really all anyone working during this pandemic can do. The outbreak has created a whole new set of unexpected dangers for first responders, grocery store workers, and cleaning crews. Doctors, nurses, and paramedics have always saved lives but, perhaps, never with such a risk to their own.

It has also created a whole new set of unexpected heroes.

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