Most of you reading this blog don’t see what I see every day. As you do your best to make the day pass without a tense altercation with the boss, the kids, the spouse, the co-parent, the grandma or the “friends” on social media, the fight of the century is going on. All me to explain.
Three-headed Hydras vs. the Heroes of Planet Earth.
You can’t find it on Netflix. Yet. It’s playing out in video conferencing calls between your elected leaders and those who run the state and local institutions of public health, higher education, workforce development and other government agencies you may only have passing knowledge of. The fight between those in power makes Godzilla look like Mary Poppins.
In one corner we have the hydras guided by apathy, envy and fear. In another corner we have the heroes, committed to compassion, creativity and courage. The battle, like any good Terminator movie, is over the future of humankind. The stakes are real and about as high as they get in a global pandemic and economic disruption.
The battle is all about our health and safety. Important decisions are being made on state and local levels. Usually, a senator wants one thing while a mayor wants another, and, as one medical director says, “This is how we move forward together.” Those controlling million-dollar agencies are on a virtual battlefield, and with all the explosive conflict at all levels, it gets hard to see which side they are on.
As I sit in on meetings of local heroes and engage in surreal email debates with hydras, I can see that some of our three-headed monsters just want the whole mess to go away. Their unrealistic plan is to return to the pre-epidemic status quo when their superpowers were at their strongest. (Note: Hydras vs Heroes has no time travel and no hydras get to return to the past.)
I also get 5am or 10pm calls from the heroes who are on the front lines, sharing stories of battles won, lost or up for grabs.
What’s clear to anyone paying attention is that three-headed hydras hate change, which to them represents loss of control and privilege. Their strategy is to obstruct all innovation for as long as they can. Meanwhile, heroes in every city work tirelessly to solve problems and take care of the vulnerable (that’s all of us).
If this were a superhero movie, this is the part where the scientists watching the raging battle over giant view screens explain to the audience what’s happening. Rotten Tomato’s reviewers would say this part of the show was “too talky.”
Scientist One: Why do the hydras fight us?
Scientist Two: We’ve identified ten areas of contention, now on view screen one.
1. Who should be tested for the virus?
2. How do we ensure that providers get protective gear?
3. Do we keep or furlough health care providers in a pandemic?
4. Who gets timely medical care if they need it?
5. Who keeps their jobs, who doesn’t and how do we ensure benefits?
6. How much food can one get at the store or food pantry each day?
7. Who ensures the vital services for surviving for 100% of residents?
8. Which students get empowering education and services for thriving?
9. Are leaders committed to a collaborative, transparent and data-driven process for problem-solving?
10. What’s the vision for the post-pandemic society?
Cut to the battlefield and the best special effects with hydra heads being cut off and then growing back instantly. Coolest CGI ever!
If last year Three-headed Hydras vs. the Heroes of Planet Earth was being pitched as a new Netflix series, I doubt the money guys would fund it. Captain America battles the Smurfs might sound more realistic and binge-worthy. Of course the reality is, we are all in this movie whether we like it or not. Not only is the ending far from being written, but you are being offered a speaking role. We’re casting for heroes.
The future is what we make it. Join the evolution.
Please excuse any typos as I construct an article at 3am on only one cup of Joe. These stories are mine and mine alone. I do not represent any organization here. If one of my illustrations looks like a real human or hydra, that’s total coincidence. Words and images ©Dominic Cappello but share with everyone you know. Any questions? The mission awaits: www.tenvitalservices.org