It’s easy to avoid watching the daily news when you love overseas. Of course, I get headlines on my twitter and FB newsfeeds, but I don’t watch news on TV and I don’t read a newspaper. Today I was reminded of why I avoid the news.
I do understand the importance of being an informed citizen, both of the US and the world, so I suppose perhaps I’m guilty of taking the road of least resistance. Reveling in thine idea that ignorance is bliss. Here are today’s headlines that made me sorry to have stepped off of my peaceful path:
1. Malaysia Airlines plane missing, presumed crashed in South China Sea
2. Woman’s Mummified Body Found in Detroit
3. U.S. Armed Forces Sickened After Fukushima Meltdown Get Help From Online Fundraising
The idea that 230 people and an enormous aircraft are missing is horrifying, mostly because we assume that they have crashed and are dead. We (or I) imagine what might have happened and what the passengers may have experienced and that is frightening. I most definitely have a fear of dying. Perhaps it’s because I’m atheist so I don’t have the comfort of “going to a better place.” Or maybe it’s because there’s so much I want to do that I haven’t done yet. But I definitely don’t want to be gone from this planet in my present, living form. Things that put me at risk of death are scary – and flying is high up on that list. Now, this doesn’t stop me from doing it. I have my frequent flyer Gold status. But I will definitely be more nervous next month when I go on vacation.
Of course, I know the chances of dying in a plane crash are quite small. However, since I’m a single female, and not getting any younger, I do wonder how long it would take for someone to notice if I died in my apartment. A day? A weekend? A week? Until the buzzards are circling and the stench reaches the lobby of the apartment building? Imagine 6 years! I keep in touch with my parents so I don’t think it would take quite that long, but this week a contractor found a woman mummified in her vehicle in her garage. She was in her 40s and they believe she may have died 6 years ago. This is a good reminder to keep in touch with friends and family, and to make a plan with my other single friends to check in daily.
And the final horrifying headline is about ex-military members coping with health problems, possibly from radiation exposure at Fukushima. Since I currently live in a military community, it is frustrating to think that these people have to do fundraising on the Internet to get the care they need. I always find it ironic when republicans criticize Obama for being socialist because these military bases, which many republicans do support, are very socialist. Everyone is employed and has medical and dental care. Civilians have to pay, but generally, the military personnel do not. But I know that does not mean they get the best care. And I do believe that serious medical problems are missed, overlooked, and brushed off. Still, the idea that once they are off base, they are on their own, is really unacceptable.
And, more selfishly, I don’t like the idea that military has lied about the radiation levels. We listened to the base commander repeat every day that the air and water were safe. Of course, meanwhile, they shipped spouses and dependents home, but I still hope that was an unnecessary precaution. I suppose all roads lead back to my fear of death, and I don’t want to spend my last deals dealing with cancer. Especially since I’ve given up corn syrup and my microwave for 8 years!
So, I’ve had my fill of news for this week. Maybe even for the month of March. As I get ready for bed and think about these stories, I hope for a positive outcome with the Malaysia Airlines story. And I hope that those people who served our country and Japan in Operation Tomodachi receive the care they need and deserve.