Let me just say that I fully support the move to make people get out of these flooded areas. I just question how exactly they’re going to go about doing it. None of the people thus far associated with this Katrina relief effort have yet proven themselves to be especially competent or thoughtful, so I expect some mishaps with trying to force people out of their homes. I wouldn’t put it past some of these heavily armed paratroopers to shoot people who won’t leave. Crazier things have happened.
But the people who are still dead-set on staying in New Orleans need to get the hell out of there. There have already been reports of dysentery and deaths from waterborne bacterial infections. Staying in those kinds of conditions will only increase the death count. And how are the rescue/recovery teams going to do their jobs effectively if they have to keep going back to places they’ve already cleared to check on people who elected to stay? What happens when the ones who stay change their minds and want to be rescued? Do they expect people to keep coming by to bring them food and water? What are you going to do in a city full of 10,000 dead bodies with no electricity, sewage or other public utilities.
But I suppose you can’t force people to do anything. I’m sure that some people are simply being stubborn, but there are undoubtably others who are scared and traumatized or mentally ill. What about them? Taking people out by force, if not done with finesse, could result in violence or further trauma, and I suppose it isn’t really realistic for resue teams to know which type of situation they’re dealing with.
I just don’t know the best thing to do. Two weeks ago I would have trusted the authorities and relief workers to have a decent plan, but it goes without saying that that ain’t the case anymore. ::sigh::