What I noticed today is who contacted me to make sure my family and me were okay during the recent Poinsettia Fire. We were really, really close to the second fire with the first one being dubbed the Bernardo fire. We were given orders via Reverse 911 to get ready to go. My family and I quickly decided what to take with us and what to leave behind to…burn??
Actually, I guess what I really noticed is who didn’t contact me, and you know what? It’s going to be hard to not ask them why they didn’t care enough to send a ten second text. I know the fires were all over the news all over the U.S. so I cannot imagine that the friends didn’t hear about it. These, of course, are the people who are out of the state and not the ones living the nightmare.
I asked some friends of mine if they were surprised at who didn’t contact them, and they all replied no. One friend said that nobody asked her if she was ok. She didn’t seem to care that nobody had. She offered this as an explanation, “Perhaps they didn’t think it was that bad.” And that sentence is very telling. Here’s what I think about why that is: the evening news.
The news has become over sensationalized about every little drop of rain, wind, and fire and we’ve all experienced it (Firestorm 20xx–said in a booming, powerful voice). Friends have watched the news covering San Diego from their states, reached out when they thought it was bad (because of the news), and then when I said, “Thanks for checking in but it’s barely sprinkling here. We weren’t affected by the mudslides,” they must feel embarrassed. I think it makes them less likely to call/text/email again.
The sensational news stories need to stop so that my friends and family don’t feel dumb about asking me if my family and me are ok.
[We are, by the way, in case you were going to ask :-)]