At This Point, Are We Numb to Catastrophic Events in SWLA?
For this little article, I am going to go outside of my normal style and just pose a question I asked myself yesterday.
Have we, as residents of SWLA, become numb after going through what we have been through?
I am neither posing this question for humor nor to cheapen all of the things we have been through as residents of the area. It is a question that randomly popped in my head as I was trying to get to my parents' house yesterday to be ready in case water began to get into their house. It took me over an hour to get to their house from the station. I was having to go around cars in the middle of Ryan Street, dodge out of the way of firetrucks running to structure fires, and do my best to just crawl through the water so as not to make things worse for those around me.
First, the hurricanes.
I specifically remember the morning after Hurricane Laura. I had a cup of coffee in my hand and was talking to my parents. Mom asked me a simple question of what all I needed to do at my apartment to make sure it was secure and the fridge was cleaned out. A sudden rush of anxiety ran over me, and I broke.
I am pretty sure a grown, bearded man crying was the last thing anyone wanted to see, but after riding out a giant hurricane, it's exactly what happened. I broke down, cried, and felt overwhelmed, but I did my best to pull it together and focus on the tasks at hand.
When Hurricane Delta rolled around, things were a bit easier. We had just done all of this weeks prior. It was the same song, different verse. I didn't feel as overwhelmed, and it just felt like it was all trained in my brain.
Then, the ice storm happened.
No power for a few days, no water for a week, couldn't really leave the house at all. Isolation was certainly a thing, but we had already been through isolation due to the pandemic. I honestly told myself it was no big deal because I had gone days without human interaction because of the pandemic the previous year.
I remember just being happy as a clam and doing my own thing in my apartment by myself, trying not to freeze. I had conversations with my Scentsy elephant to pass the time.
Yesterday, I get to my parents' house to see the water almost at their doorstep. As I walk in, the power goes out, and I hear my dad breath a heavy sigh.
"I'll grab the generator. Your turn to run the cables."
Just like a well-oiled NASCAR team, off we went trying to beat our previous time from all of the other no-electricity days. As I finished getting the generator in place, the old man was handing me the cables out the door. I smiled and just knew we had knocked it out of the park. I fired up the generator and flipped the breaker. As I walked back inside, I could see a truck passing entirely too fast in the water. Next thing I knew, there came the water under the door. I didn't skip a beat. I grabbed the towels; he grabbed the mop. There was no hesitation and no remarks. We just sorta went into action, and that's when it hit me. Have we just become so numb to these off-the-wall scenarios that we have adopted these things as part of our day-to-day lives?
I remember from the few psychology classes I didn't skip in college that, when the human brain is met with in influx of information, it becomes harder and harder to focus on single situations and everything just becomes all smashed together as one. Personally, I feel this is what I am going through. I know there are many friends and families in our area suffering way worse than others. It's hard to think about those in need around us as we are trying to help ourselves at the same time.
The saving grace about all of this is that SWLA is strong. We have yet to give up fighting, and I do not think we ever will as we dry out and begin to rebuild.
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