Superheroes in Disguise

Kathleen Elle

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Superheroes in Disguise

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If there is one thing I've learned in this pandemic it’s that we’ve been worshiping the wrong superheroes.

I have four family members on the front lines of this pandemic: a NJ ICU nurse aunt, an NYC anesthesiologist cousin and his ER doctor wife, and a NJ EMT cousin. Hearing their harrowing stories of risking their lives, as patients, friends and

If there is one thing I've learned in this pandemic it’s that we’ve been worshiping the wrong superheroes.

I have four family members on the front lines of this pandemic: a NJ ICU nurse aunt, an NYC anesthesiologist cousin and his ER doctor wife, and a NJ EMT cousin. Hearing their harrowing stories of risking their lives, as patients, friends and co-workers died around them, I felt at a loss for how I could help. My mom and I, and a few friends, started sewing masks for donation to healthcare and essential workers. To date, we've donated over 2300 masks. Being a singer-songwriter, I also started giving nightly, hour-long free concerts called "Kathleen's Quarantine Corner," through facebook and instagram live to try and spread a little happiness and provide entertainment for those cooped up inside - 70 consecutive shows thus far!

I’m inspired by all my family healthcare workers, but a comment from my aunt is what gave me the idea to write my song “Superheroes in Disguise.” She’s been a nurse for 30 years, and I’ve never heard her complain once. She told me that the Covid ICU was like a war zone and she felt like a veteran returning from the Vietnam War because people could not understand what healthcare workers were going through. It was then that I realized they were like superheroes - superheroes in disguise. The song was written in the next 24 hours.

Being in quarantine, I recorded, produced, and mixed it myself, including all instruments and background vocals. It was mastered at Jankland Recording Studios in Wall. I played the song for my aunt on her birthday, which was also International Nurses Day and she appears on the song cover. I then reached out to my healthcare worker family, friends, and strangers on social media for images for the music video.

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