As our city continues to recover from the effects of Sandy, the aftermath feels like some sort of bad dream that we will wake up from soon. Like a lot of people, I treated this storm like the boy who cried wolf.
After last year’s Irene hoopla, which materialized into a whole lot of nothing here in the city, I was not going to get caught up in the hurricane hype. Even though I was, once again, in the evacuation zone, this time I was staying put. At least that was what I thought…
The first lesson I learnt was that I probably could survive without food and water longer than I could survive without the Internet and electricity. Sad, but true.
Considering I spent most of my childhood in a country where power outages were the norm, this ought not to be the case. I was amazed to see how quickly I crumbled once these creature comforts were snatched away.
No sooner than thirty minutes after we lost power at my place, I was packed and ready to get out of there, going on about how “I couldn’t take it anymore.” Mind you, this was late Monday night, just as the storm was getting really bad.
Did I care at that point? No. Did it matter that the police were driving around telling everyone to stay inside? Absolutely not. I was leaving and going wherever I had to in order to find an Internet connection and electricity.
You see, while I’m sure that “man shall not live by bread alone,” perhaps I’m not so sure about living without Verizon Fios…
If only I had been aware of this fact beforehand… I would have been able to make a small fortune reselling this commodity on the black market. God forbid that we have another event like this happen in the future, but if we do, I know the first thing I will be stocking up on.
Third lesson: contrary to popular belief cold showers, unlike oh let’s say childbirth, do not get easier each subsequent time.
I don’t remember the last time I took a cold shower before these last few days and if I never have to take one again it will be too soon. The only thing that is actually worse than a cold shower is the anticipation of a cold shower.
Popular mythology would have us believe there’s something manly about taking cold showers. However, you quickly realize what a lie that is the moment the cold water hits your body and you start screaming like a little girl.
Well, as you can see, I am dealing with a lot of hashtag first-world problems right now. But all jokes aside, I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. Many people were not so fortunate.
In a city where, under normal circumstances, people already find themselves feeling lonely and isolated, that problem is only exasperated in times of crisis like this.
I was fortunate to be in a position where I had no shortage of people I could turn to who would help or take me in, but I am also conscious of the fact that that was not a luxury available to everyone. Even more than a week later, so many still find themselves feeling alone and desperate. I say all that to say let’s be sensitive to the fact that many have experienced the kind of devastating loss that will, at best, take years to recover from.
Wherever possible, let’s make the effort to go the extra mile for each other. In any way that we can, let’s extend a hand to help nurse our city back to health. It’s going to take a while but I have no doubt that if we all pull together, we will bounce back better than ever.
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