I have been working on this post about Japan since Saturday, but I’ve had trouble pulling it together. My mind wanders and I start rambling. The footage is intense and I feel uncomfortable feelings that I’m not sure how to process. I am sensitive. The images are horrifying; the emotional pain of the Japanese people is palpable. For a large percentage of the rest of the world, the rhythm of life beats on.
I look out my window and I see everything as it should be— peaceful, intact, and thriving. The water is calm. We are so lucky. I’m not sure people want to read about this, but it’s something important that’s unfolding in the world right now. Some people can tune it out–turn off the TV or switch it to celebrity gossip, and put on rose-colored glasses. I don’t want to hear one more second of Charlie Sheen news (I’ve met Charlie Sheen, and he’s nothing to write home about), or who’s dating whom, or whose recently had plastic surgery. I don’t care. I’m not judging; just saying how I personally feel. I know some people need a distraction. At the same time, the tsunami is a significant serious historical event that should be discussed.
I live in the “Ring of Fire”, and some of my friends are scared that we will be directly affected by the contaminated air that could potentially blow here via the ring of fire jet stream. I don’t think it will happen. The scientists say if the radiation does reach the West Coast, it would be diluted before reaching this state, and levels would be so low, no action would be necessary by the time it arrives. We are not at risk for radiation exposure.
I went to two local pharmacists to get a read on what the general public is thinking. My excuse was research because I was a little embarrassed to be asking–Are people preparing for the worst? I was surprised when I heard that our local stores and stores in surrounding cities have sold out of some emergency items (such as painted-on iodine) and that both local pharmacies I spoke with had been receiving calls for the last 72 hours for prescription Potassium Iodine. Oh, and by the way, the pharmacist said, “Go to REI to get Portable Aqua Iodine to put in your water.” Hmm.
I do think, in general and unrelated directly to the Japanese tsunami, that it is important to have supplies on hand for any potential emergency, but only as a precaution–not because something horrible is imminent. I don’t believe it is. I just like to be prepared.
A handful of people I know are packing up to get ready to drive east if necessary, and some people are honestly scared that our government and media are not being fully honest. I refuse to panic or engage in fear mongering. I won’t do it. I think it’s really important to get your information from a reliable source. Looking on-line at random unverified information will lead to cyberchondria. I just want the facts.
While I think it’s very important to be real, connect, and empathize with the current events and the people who are affected by the Japanese catastrophe, I also think it’s important to not be emotionally swallowed whole by it, and to continue living our lives. As a parent, I think it’s important to be calm for our children as well. They can feel our stress and it affects them. When I listen to the scientists and experts, not the media who want higher ratings, I feel confident that we will be fine here.
I think it is imperative that we help the people overseas who are in need in any way that we can. I also think we should all pause from our daily living to think about everything that we have to thankful for. We are truly fortunate.
*How have you been affected by the Japanese earthquakes and tsunami? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
**If you want to help the people in Japan, the Red Cross is a great organization to contact.