Thoughts and prayers to everyone in the path of the Frankenstorm. The next several days are going to be rough, and we’re pulling for you.
I spent this morning in an unusual way for me– glued to the television. I was watching what was going on, and the disruption of routines was noticeable. 20% of the country is shut down, and the only people on the streets in those places are insane reporters and rescue workers. In most places it seems responders will be active until the winds reach 60 miles per hour, at which point they’re calling it quits. I watched one report of a man being rescued from a flooded car, and his rescuers discovering he was stuck there because he’d had a heart attack.
Most of the relatively-live talk shows out of New York were still on the air, but there was a definite snow day/last day of school-type vibe. Why were they still there, when the public transportation, Broadway theaters, and restaurants are closed? Even Starbucks is closed, and they don’t close for anything. They all had skeleton audiences, the few people there crammed into one section, the cameras trying to avoid showing all of the empty seats. The shows that normally have crowds of people standing outside their windows with signs had only 2 or three people in rain gear, shivering and waving to the camera. All of the shows cut away periodically to a local weather person showing the latest satellite maps, or an on-the-scene correspondent getting windblown and splashed in the face. One got washed away when a wave crested over a berm and took out the cameraman; he was on a little bit later, from higher ground, to confirm that everyone was okay.
As the clips of President Obama urging people to listen to local officials and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie telling people they’re idiots if they don’t follow evacuation orders play over and over, the talking heads are trying to keep calm and carry on. Some seem as if they’re trying to be helpful, offering whatever useful information they have. Other seem as if they’re trying to tell the rest of the nation that it’s no big deal and not to worry.
I’m thousands of miles away, where the weather is cool but the sky is clear, waiting like everyone else to see how this potential apocalypse plays out. The cats are curled up in a patch of sunlight, sleeping away the day as usual. Young mothers play with toddlers in the park, homeless men haunt the bus stops, traffic is no lighter or heavier than any other day. i think about how quickly things can change, and how drastically, and how blissfully unaware we are of how close to the edge of disaster we are one any given day, at any given moment. I count myself blessed right now to have food, clothing, shelter, power, and water.