First Response

PORTFOLIO Magazine|May - June 2020

First Response
All we need is for a few to choose fight over flight
Poon King Wang

All we need is for a few to choose fight overflight.

In April 2013, two homemade bombs exploded at the finishing line of the Boston Marathon. As chaos erupted, everyone fled from the blast.

Well, almost everyone.

One group of people sprinted towards the blast instead. They were the first responders.

They ran immediately to help the fallen. A photo of three policemen watching over an older runner on the ground captured this poignantly — they were in danger but chose to protect others from that danger.

We see this in dangerous incident after dangerous incident. First responders run towards danger and not away from it. This ethos is a big reason why survival rates during sudden crises and catastrophes around the world are higher than they would otherwise be. Our societies are more resilient when a small group chooses to help and protect as its first response to danger.

We will need such an ethos in the coming months. In March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic shut down one country after another. The public health crisis exploded into a full-blown economic one.

Our healthcare workers and those in essential roles are already our first responders to the public health crisis. Their courage and conscientiousness is matched by the commitment of global governments to battle the coronavirus. It will be a hard fight, but they will win. This too shall pass.


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May - June 2020