Dear World, it is Time to Acknowledge our First Responders

Illustration from

By Sama Al Taie 

The COVID-19 pandemic has unveiled the true heroes who work tirelessly to save, facilitate, ease, serve, and protect lives every day. Doctors and nurses are the frontline soldiers of the battle that we are yet to concur against the invisible enemy. Before the pandemic, medical staff were recognized during occasional moments of appraisal. Yet, Mattel, an American multinational toy company, took the first initiative to show the world that doctors, nurses, and delivery drivers are not superheroes for the time being, but they are and will continue to risk their lives for us. 

Medical staff and delivery men and women are now integrated as heroic toy figures. This allows children to no longer play with Superman, an imaginary character. Rather, they will grow up appreciating the real heroes of life.

We have undervalued the importance of noble workers who are standing in line, ready to serve, and work for countless hours before and during this pandemic. While medical staff battle to keep our loved ones healthy, delivery workers are outside to help provide us with what we need. Despite this, the lack of knowledge and appreciation of such employees has left the world in shock, not knowing how to put an end to the coronavirus without enough medical staff or delivery workers to fill in the gaps we didn’t pay attention to before the outbreak. 

Mattel’s figures for the first responders are reminding the world of the role models that the next generation should look up to. Those heroic toys could spark the passion in children who will want to pursue noble jobs in medicine or any position that will affect and help the lives of others. Perhaps the next time a child picks up a toy doctor, they will aspire to become a frontline soldier for the upcoming disasters this world will witness and conquer. 

The collection is expected to launch in May and be available for sale throughout the month. At a relatively high price of $20 (Dh 73), one might argue that it is only going to be accessible for children that belong to wealthy families. The cost leaves less fortunate kids with a childhood full of imaginary heroic figures only, like Superman and Spiderman, not appreciating the actual heroes of life. There are hundreds of other companies that will duplicate toys at cheaper prices, which could potentially leave Mattel to only be accessible to children in the upper echelons of society.

The global lockdown has taught us not to take anything for granted. As sectors shut down, more people are staying behind closed doors. Yet, medical staff, grocery store workers, and delivery personnel never stopped working. Needless to say, the pandemic has made us reflect on the importance of those heroes who are leaving their families on a daily basis to save the lives of others. Perhaps it is time for us to wake up from the years of unacknowledged appreciation to recognizing the true warriors who were, and continue to, make the world a better place every day.