Monday, January 13, 2014

Looking after the vulnerable in the cold

No question but this has been the winter (so far) of the nasty snow dump!  I’ve read stories about it from my fellow bloggers GFB and WWW .  We’re all agreed that we’ve seen worse winters but for some reason, this one seems to be making all of us go a little squirrely – not that it’s a long trip for me!!!

It has a lot to do with the snow and icy roads taking away from my sense of independence – I want to be able to go where I want, when I want, the weather be damned.  Unfortunately, nearly a foot of snow in 24-hours and roads & streets like skating rinks take away from that independence.  The neighbour’s kids were actually skating in their driveway over the weekend.  I know, because I watched them from behind the quadruple thermal pane window with the heat turned up in the living room!

Of course we can make jokes about the enforced captivity created by the storm, but it’s truly scary when the power is off for a week or, in some cases, nearly two weeks.  For some people, it reaches crisis state when there is no heat or running water and the temperature is dipping into the minus twenties.  For the elderly and medically fragile, it can be life-threatening.  Thank God for the volunteers who spent so much time during the recent power blackouts going around to those who they knew were vulnerable, checking on them, bringing water, firewood or coal to those who heat their homes with those resources or helping them to move to warm emergency shelters.  It helps us to learn the meaning of fragile and caring.

We also need to give thanks for the power crews who work in the most hellish weather to try to get electricity restored.  I’ve seen pictures of those men and women climbing utility poles in the midst of near-blizzard conditions, working in what can only be described as very dangerous circumstances.  I talked with one two-man crew when they stopped for a coffee as they were trying to reconnect the electricity and they hadn’t slept for nearly 24-hours as they tried to get the supply hooked up.  I paid for their coffee.

A recent quote from Pope Francis in his 2013 apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium seems appropriate in these circumstances.  He said, "How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?.”  I’m not completely convinced that he’s as progressive as he seems, but you can’t beat the veracity of that statement.

Hope you’re able to keep warm.


Wisewebwoman said...

Good to see you writing again, Veep and yes, we've all had our winter challenges, I managed to get into Sinjawns today and was delighted with myself, like a felon released from jail, lol.

Nice picture as well, love the splay of yellow against the monochrome.

Stay well and warm.


Government Funded Blogger said...

Thankfully that crises seem to bring out the good people and the good in people.