What do you blog about on a day when estimates range from 10s of thousands dead to 100s of thousands dead in a place you really know all too little about? It’s a day when your own life has remained unchanged. You went to work, ate lunch at your desk, attempted to reestablish a routine after a break. Somewhere in there you saw the news about what had happened in Haiti. You felt bad, but it didn’t really sink in. You posted a sympathy message on Facebook and went on with your day.
You know that while your world was in shambles during Katrina, this is what people were doing elsewhere–living their lives. Labor Day was a routine holiday to them that year. You forgot it was Labor Day. It’s unimaginable to you that other people’s lives were normal on that day. You know for thousands of people right now, it’s unimaginable that anyone’s life anywhere could be normal ever again.
But life is normal here where we are safe. People are posting sympathy messages on Facebook and Twitter. They are posting about ways to help, including the one surreal thing you’ve done so far…text it in. They are also adopting virtual fish and talking about their exercise classes because what else would they do here where life hasn’t changed?
It is impossible to imagine the scope of 10s of thousands dead when Katrina was worse than you could imagine until Katrina happened. It is impossible to understand what happened today in a place you’ve never even seen.
And so you send a text message to the Red Cross and continue with your plans for the day. There’s nothing else you can do today.