Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Four days after Haiti's massive earthquake, efforts are under way to bury the dead as thousands of bodies crumpled in the streets of Port-au-Prince lay exposed to the sun or draped in sheets and cardboard.

Throughout the city, people covered their noses from the stench and some resorted to face masks. CNN correspondents in Haiti reported efforts to remove the bodies, including the creation of a mass grave. It's still unclear how many people have been killed in Tuesday's earthquake; the prime minister suggested there could be several hundreds of thousands.

CNN's Anderson Cooper, reporting Friday from a mass grave on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, described seeing hundreds of bodies mixed with garbage in open pits. Some bodies were bulldozed into the half-filled pits.

"These people will vanish," Cooper said in a phone report. "No one will know what happened to them. That's one of the many horrors.

"There's no system in place here. Literally these people here are being collected off the streets, dumped into a dump truck, then brought out here and dumped in the pits," he said.

The fear of disease is frequently the reason for rapidly burying bodies in mass graves. But contrary to popular belief, bodies do not cause epidemics after natural disasters, experts said.

"The reality is that most of the disease that live in us -- once our body is dead they can't survive very long," said Oliver Morgan, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

How can your heart not break at the news coming out of Haiti. We (in the USA) are in the habit of dismissing events such as this if it does not affect us personally. Then we fill the news with every slight we happen to experience or be involved in. I wish I could take these people in at least some of them. Running a homeless shelter, I witness far too much whining from women who feel an "entitlement" and feel "life is unfair" well try walking one day in these people shoes. I won't even get into race!! That is a whole other story. This blog is not to beg for money. There are some really great missionaries, churches, organizations and even cell phone companies and Facebook that is providing ways of giving and it is working. This blog is to ask us to stop for one moment and really take a look at these events and and evaluate what it means in our personal lives. What do I mean by that? Well, rather than criticize these people think how you would act if it were you. If your mother was trapped or rescued but you had no food to give her would you steal? Would you become super diligent to what little food you had? I would and you may call me uncivilized or ghetto or whatever and I wouldn't care. How would you react if your loved ones were buried in a mass grave with garbage? Call me what you may but my grief and dis spare would cause me to be uncivil, in an uproar. What if you were watching your own child starve to death? Would you attempt to break down barriers to get to food? I hope your honest answer is a resounding yes!! So lets consider the magnitute of the situation rather than sit comfortable and criticize!