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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Keeping perspective is as important as keeping aware, folks

[From a post I left on Facebook at 5:29 p.m. on Sunday, August 27, 2017:]

This one will set some records. But as in prior Houston floods — and I've experienced every one of them since August 1980 — what's happening in one neighborhood, or on one block, or to one house, may be entirely different from what's "typical" or "average" or "normal."

There are shocking, stunning videos sweeping the TV networks and the internet right now. They're stunning to us Houstonians too, those who are able to watch them, because we recognize those places!

But I haven't seen a photo of a "normal" Houston street on the TV for at least 24 hours. I'm not fussing at them for that, because normal isn't "news" at any time, and they're still doing a valuable public service in suppressing the number of people getting out and moving around right now. Except for PD & FD & other first responders, medical personnel, etc. — bless every one of them! — those people out on the streets are bad gamblers, self-identifying as Darwin Award candidates.

But there are many, many houses and streets and subdivisions that are, by and large, still unharmed and unflooded. At the moment I'm lucky enough to be sitting in one such house, although I'm as horrified as everyone else by the video I'm watching from not very far away. I may be tempting fate by posting this, but here's the view from my front porch a couple of hours ago. My view hasn't changed since then; it might change dramatically in an hour; and it might look completely different from someone's only a few hundreds of yards away from me in the same subdivision.


I hear talking heads arguing already about, "Should such-and-such have been done?" Friends & neighbors, let's wait until the event is mostly over before we even start that, okay? Those discussions will happen, but they require completed and objective data to be meaningful, and that's not remotely in yet.

But if you're in the middle of this: Keep your wits and your sense of proportion. Keep your situational awareness, as they say in the military. Don't get spooked into something foolish because you're overreacting to what you saw on TV if your own conditions are still different.

And if you're not from here, but just worried about friends and loved ones and fellow human beings in the most diverse city in the U.S. — of whom I'm so incredibly extra proud at the moment — thanks for your good wishes, remember your charitable organizations, and don't presume that everyone's undergoing the worst of what you just saw on the TV news. Yet, anyway.

Posted by Beldar at 05:29 PM in Current Affairs, Texas | Permalink


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