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 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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