Post Hurricane Post 2: On Cancellations

Everyday there is more and more news in the aftermath of the storm. From news that warms my heart (and makes me cry) to news that just makes me so so sad and angry. The biggest news today in NYC seemed to be the marathon, which was scheduled for Sunday.

At first Bloomberg defiantly said that it would go on, citing Giuliani’s decision to hold the marathon after 9/11 (which makes no sense of course because that was two months after and there weren’t displaced people without homes/food/water/power and exhausted polices/EMTs who haven’t had more than a few hours rest in days). But throughout the day the pressure mounted, from the press, individuals, groups, and even runners. And by the end of the day he canceled the marathon–which I think pretty much everyone agrees is the right thing to do.

Now here’s the radical thing, I think we should have cancelled more — a lot more. The subways were still not running, half of Manhattan still didn’t have power, but New Yorkers had to “prove” that they were resilient and get back to work. So they stood spent hours waiting for shuttle buses or trapped in the worse gridlock the city has ever seen, resulting in widespread gas shortages. For what? What do most of us do? Sit in front of computers.

Schools were closed for the week because kids couldn’t get in and they were being used as shelters. I think that non-essential employees should have been given the week off as well — that New York should have been declared in a state of emergency, and that rather sitting in an idling car for 3 hours to get in to sit in front a computer, those that were lucky enough to not have been hit hard, should have had the freedom and ability to volunteer and help those in need.

After September 11, 2011, New York needed to prove to the world that they wouldn’t let the terrorists win, but after this hurricane, I think a stronger message would be–the city that never sleeps is going to put the breaks on for a week and work on helping each other out. There is more important work to be done.

Next Post: On Climate Change and Voting.





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