CHARLOTTE, N.C. — What do you think of when you see a red cape? Most likely your favorite childhood superhero.
Jennifer Grant and Cathy Young wanted to honor the heroes of the coronavirus pandemic who live in their neighborhood, the medical professionals on the front lines of the crisis.
That's when the friends came up with the idea to put up superhero capes and masks on mailboxes.
"The capes on the mailbox let people know those are doctors and nurses, and they are on the front lines to say an extra prayer for those households,” said Grant.
Grant, Young and Inga Kish are close friends that live in the same neighborhood. Inga is an ER doctor serving on the front lines.
"I wanted to go to the hospital and hold up signs letting them know how much we love them and support them," Young said. "Jennifer is a lot smarter than me and she came up with a way cuter idea."
“I thought, 'well wait a minute the doctors are our heroes, what can we do for them? They need a cape! They are real heroes!'" Grant said.
Jennifer and Cathy then came up with the idea to put a superhero cape and mask on their friend Inga's mailbox
"All three of us are huggers and we love on people all the time, and this social distancing and not being able to pat somebody on the back or give them a hug is a real struggle," Young said. "I think we are just trying to find other ways to hug people so that they know how much we love them.”
So, they decided to put the capes and masks on every single mailbox in their neighborhood where a doctor or nurse lives, which was about 45 and counting.
Dr. Kish told WCNC Charlotte's Sarah French she thought it was her friends behind the gesture.
“Oh I had a pretty good idea. They are always up to something like that. But it made me feel good. They know that I was a little anxious," Dr. Kish said. "These ladies are always there for me outside of work, and we are really good friends and we rely on each other in good times and bad times. It was like the more people told me thank you, which I didn’t feel like I deserved, but I became more empowered and less scared and ready to do the job you know that I set out to do over two decades ago.”
Young said their goal was simply to let everyone in the neighborhood know who's out there working on the front lines to keep everyone safe and healthy.
They're heroes who wear a different kind of mask. But these heroes are real people with real families that appreciate knowing their neighbors care.
"Reaching out in other ways to let people know you care and to support them and that you were thinking of them that is what is going to get us all through this," Dr. Kish said.
Dr. Kish’s husband is a doctor as well.
Jennifer and Cathy urge anyone watching to tie red capes on the mailboxes of medical professionals in your neighborhood.