"Who was that masked man, anyway?"
The famous words uttered at the end of Lone Ranger episodes were often spoken in awe at our white-hatted hero's antics in saving the day. Today, we are just as awed at Our Heroes.
This crazy, frustrating, confronting and outright scary year, the Herald has chosen the Whānau of 5 Million as winner of the 2020 Our Heroes Award.
To any who would shrug off the accolade, consider this: Heroes save lives. We know from the awful scenes overseas that out-of-control transmission of this virus sweeps through communities and takes lives. Our tīpuna, grandparents. Our mātua, mothers and fathers. These people would have been taken.
There are some who say our initial response to the pandemic was too slow, some say we were locked down for too long and some say we sacrificed too much of our economy in an over-reaction.
Yet, here we are. Out and about on a weekend - our older ones living out their lives without the spectre of SARS-CoV-2 reaching out to prematurely end it.
That is thanks to everyone who stays at home, washes their hands, contact-traces, goes for testing. We will never know how many of these instances halted the virus - withering in the air, vanquished. Some say we simply got lucky as if fortune fell in our favour. Almost certainly however, there will be moments when we made our own luck. To those anonymous heroes, thank you. Thank you to all of us.
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And yes, thanks to those who wear masks.