April 28 is National Superhero Day in the United States. We thought about dressing up in our best super-suit for today’s virtual meetings but decided on an even better way to celebrate. We rounded up 10 recent stories of real-life superheroes right here in Birmingham—check it out!
1—Essential workers and this Birmingham 6th grader who helped us celebrate them
“Essential workers are all heroes right now. They are getting up and doing their jobs despite facing so many dangers and risks—all because we need them.
A local 6th grader at Birmingham’s Highlands School wrote a poem, ‘An Ode to Essential Workers,’ and it’s a must-read. Keep reading if you need a smile, and make sure to share this with the essential workers in your life.”
2—These citizens who came together to help keep Birmingham safe
“We can’t thank our healthcare workers enough for putting themselves on the frontlines to fight COVID-19. But, we can show appreciation by donating facemasks and our time through Birmingham organizations.
Whether it’s sewing a mask, creating one through a 3D printer or simply being a runner for supplies—these local businesses and residents are stepping up to help.”
3—Service industry workers
“Servers, bartenders and more who work in Birmingham’s service industry are being hit hard right now. Due to social distancing and being limited to takeout or curbside service, many workers aren’t sure if they’ll have a reliable source of income for months.”
4—This organization whose heroic work doesn’t get to be put on pause
“AIDS Alabama, like countless other HIV/AIDS organizations, is no stranger to global pandemics. We reached out to find out what a day in the life of an AIDS Alabama social worker is like in the time of COVID-19, and how you can support this essential work.”
5—A Bessemer company who threw their resources into vital response
“In the ongoing fight against COVID-19 (Coronavirus), one of the biggest concerns is whether or not the virus will overpower our healthcare infrastructure. The United States only has a set number of hospital beds—if those are filled, where will additional patients be treated? BLOX, a Bessemer-based company, thinks they have the answer—rapidly deployed mobile ICUs.”
6—A UAB doctor who used his personal experience with COVID-19 as an agent for good
“Dr. Michael Saag is the Jim Stanley Chair in AIDS Research and the Director of the Center for AIDS Research at UAB’s School of Medicine. For almost 40 years, he’s been at the forefront of the battle against HIV/AIDS and is currently in the spotlight because he’s recently recovered from COVID-19. Last night he and Dr. Anthony Fauci were on C-SPAN’s ‘Washington Journal Prime Time’ for a Q + A on the National Fight Against COVID-19.”
7—These organizations and nonprofits that won’t stop educating
“Our local nonprofits need our support now more than ever, Birmingham. Over 450 local businesses and 80 local nonprofits have joined our free databases helping Birmingham citizens learn how they can support local today. Keep reading to find 10 education + literacy organizations you can support right now.”
8—This local hospital that is leading the way in developing a vaccine for COVID-19
“UAB continues to lead the way in the development of a vaccine to prevent COVID-19. In February, we reported that UAB was leading an anti-viral drug trial in Wuhan, China. The trial tested the safety and effectiveness of the antiviral drug Remdesivir.
Now, UAB is collaborating with Altimmune, Inc.—a biopharmaceutical company based in Maryland—in preclinical testing of a potential vaccine to prevent the virus.”
9—A Birmingham resident who is helping head up the U.S. military response
“Birmingham-based Morgan Murphy and I have known each other since junior high school. So, when I saw him posting about the US military efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19, I reached out to find out more. You may have come across his foodie books or fun videos, or perhaps you both share a love of vintage cars.”
10—Every single teacher and parent taking on virtual learning
“It’s been almost a full week since e-learning began after parents and students found out they’d be spending the rest of the semester at home due to COVID-19. Parents, teachers and students, give yourselves a pat on the back—you made it through those first crucial days…
Being on the parent’s side of an early school closure is difficult. But it is good to remember that it is not easy for teachers either.”