Now that I've seen the worst of the first illness of the school year, I am wanting to kvetch about other things. I've read a few things over the past few days that make me despair.
CNN had a story about a woman, stranded in a flooded zone from Katrina, who went out to try and get someone to evacuate her ill husband. She was told help would be coming, and in the time that she left her desperately ill husband, he passed away. The help never arrived. She called for someone to come get him again, and was told that she would just have to wait. She had to wrap his body in sheets, place him on a plywood bier and float him down her flooded neighborhood to her local police station. There, she was told to take her husband's body home, and simply wait. The poor woman had to try and return home with her husband's body. She collapsed on the side of the street, partially from grief and partially from exhaustion. She managed to convince a trucker with a flatbed to take them to the nearest hospital.
I understand that these are hard times -- the city is all but destroyed, and the forces normally equipped to help out in times of disaster are overloaded, but really! This woman not only had to endure the death of her spouse, but also had the trauma of not being with him when he died *and* had to lug his body around, trying to find someone, *anyone* to help her.
The saddest part of this is that I'm sure this isn't the only horriffic story like this to come out of the wake of destruction Katrina left. There have been fires, lootings, rapes. How much more do these poor people have to endure? Why? At a time when people should be seeing the best America has to offer -- help, aid, food, whatever it is they need -- why are they getting bound up in red tape? Why are people hurting others? Haven't they all suffered enough? What is it about the human animal that leads some to such acts of barbarism right at times when they need those reserves of hidden strength the most? How can people who have lost *everything* turn around and take *even more* from those who have also lost everything but their lives and the clothes they wear? How can a man who has lost his home, his family,and his livelihood then turn to a woman who is in the same boat and commit rape?
How can so-called humans sink to such depths? I have no idea why I am constantly amazed at the levels of hell people can put each other through....you'd think I would know by now. There's a story that happened here in my town, which has nothing to do with Katrina, but still displays the depths of human depravity: A lady came home to find her home burglarized, her oven turned on to 400 degrees, and all of her faucets on. Once she turned the faucets and oven off, she called the police, and started hunting for the family pets. She found one of their dogs, but couldn't locate the other, a year old puppy. When the police arrived, they smelled a heavy burnt odor. They checked the oven, and found the other dog. The burglar had placed the dog in the oven and roasted it to death.
I don't know why things like this surprise me anymore, but they do. I don't know how people could be so cruel. I consider myself a very upbeat, optimistic person, but stories of this nature make me so sad and angry.
It's no wonder that Bible-thumping preachers are always telling us that the world is going straight to hell in a handbasket. With scenes of devestation such as these, I can hardly doubt them.