Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind

Disaster Overload


I’m having a hard time wrapping my head and heart around the disasters in Myanmar and China. The ones wrought by nature, killing thousands of people in a few minutes, were awful enough, but they are compounded in Myanmar by the refusal to allow aid workers in to help. No country, no matter how resourceful and prepared, can deal with something that catastrophic without help – and lots of it.

Myanmar is barely allowing single planes of aid supplies to land, and there’s no guarantee that those that do arrive will actually get to the people who are hurting. In fact, there are reports that the military is stealing supplies meant for the destitute. China, on the other hand, is responding to its earthquake disaster in a fast, efficient way. In both countries, though, the death tolls continue to climb.

Of course the brain goes immediately to remembering how badly we bungled the situation in New Orleans before, during, and after Katrina, and how it still hasn’t come back. Much of it will never be the same, nor will the people whose lives were so disrupted. But the numbers there were so much lower than those already known dead in Asia. It’s terribly sad.

Want to contribute something to help? Here’s a NY Times list of agencies planning to provide relief for Myanmar; my guess is that they will also help with aid for China. Please be generous.

2 thoughts on “Disaster Overload

  1. I wondered yesterday – if it weren’t for the Olympics – HOW the chinese government would be responding. NPR happened to have some people already there – so they have had from the moment coverage. But I think that their coverage was deemed as pushy or rude and they were asked to leave some areas. I don’t know the specifics. And they might well have been rude or in the way (by chinese standards). I can listen to very little of this. And I watch NONE of this type of thing. This has changed greatly. In the (first) Desert Storm – I watched every minute of it and knew all the generals (names by sight). And this is the stuff that mentally buries me – because I can’t do anything about it.

  2. I know how you feel. All this natural disaster is worrying…and scary. DB and I were talking about it last night…and making disaster plans in case of earthquake or tsunami (our biggest risks living near the beach in CA). I am afraid to send any money because it doesn’t sound like it is getting to people who need it (which is a general problem I have with charities, period). I heard a report on NPR last night that had me literally in tears in my car — the reporter followed a couple searching rubble for their 2-year-old and his grandparents. When they found them all dead (the child in the grandfather’s arms), the sound of crying from the parents…well, that is universal, no language barrier there. My heart felt for that family. And I wished so much that we could all remember that we are all, in every country, the same…human. The world would be so much better if we all remembered that…

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