Monday, October 02, 2017

Puerto Rico and Other Sad Things

I had this post ready to go, and then woke up to the news about the shooting in Las Vegas.  I resist the temptation to believe the world is worse, but certainly our ability to learn quickly about awful things that are going on can lend to that appearance.  Being an American abroad, or even one who just chats with folks from other countries via social media, can often mean explaining that despite the news, the US is not a dangerous place where nearly every event can turn into the scene of a mass shooting.  It gets harder to make that supposition.  I have friends who have kids that now do active shooter drills in school.  I have friends who had to escorted from their offices during an active shooting event.  Friends who lived near this or that one.  I go to concerts and baseball games and other events where I have to plan my bag around searchability.  Plan my outfit around walking through a metal detector.I can recall easily the top shootings in modern history.  
Yesterday, I had lunch by the river, going to a baseball game with yarn friends since it was Stitch and Pitch.  And I had ice cream for dinner.  When the opportunity arises, I highly recommend having ice cream for dinner.  
As we work the ability to multi-task our horrors, I wanted to share a story about Puerto Rico.  My company has offices in Puerto Rico. I work for a company with a workaholic nature. For hurricane Irma, they closed offices in several places (including Florida) and encouraged folks to telecommute. So basically we are the it's-too-dangerous-to-be-outside-so-please-work-from-home-kind-of-company. 
After the hurricane I received updates that employees in affected areas had been accounted for and that a company match was available for charities assisting with recovery. 
Friday we got an announcement that our company was sending a plane to Puerto Rico with supplies for employees. This is unprecedented. I'm not saying my company is heartless, we (little bit like the US writ large) are good at big gestures. We come together in crises. But this, in addition to being a great thing, told me things were bad. Things are not getting taken care of and even my company could see that they couldn't expect their employees to keep on without water or food or other basics. 
So please, call your electeds. (Feel free to mention gun control too.) Give if you can. This is going to be a long haul, probably longer than the others, so if you can now great, if you can't for two weeks or months, it will still be needed then.