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Jun. 30th, 2011 @ 04:53 pm The winter medevac, pt 2
(read the previous entry first to better understand this one)

We live in a bubble during the winter. Days become routine, nights become days become nights until its all one long long night. You don't expect too much change so when something unexpected does happen it quickly becomes the talk of the town. This isn't always a malicious thing -- it's just a natural outcome when people get bored.

Of course this has been the talk of the town. In the days leading up to it the speculation grew and grew: "would it happen?" "If the plane comes, who is going to quit so they can leave?" "who is going to be fired?" "Will we be getting package mail?" "will they bring down the emperor penguin who got lost and ended up in NZ?" Hours were spent in these idle, speculative, discussions. Endless scenarios were discussed and discarded. But as that talk grows it becomes easy to lose track of the reason the flight would be happening.

And that's where it gets a bit awkward. No one here wants someone to get hurt or ill. No one here wants there to be a winter medevac. Everyone recognizes how rare they are. They represent a reaction to something that is considered so severe that death or permanent damage can occur. They are undertaken with considerable cost and risk. We know this.

But at the same time they are exciting. They are new. They represent contact with the outside world, delivery of mail that has been sitting in Christchurch and more fresh food than we have seen in months. As this became more and more likely rumors of how much mail would be coming trickled out and people began to imagine what might be waiting for them. People started tasting the fresh fruit, imagining the juice running down their chin, their neck and of licking it off their fingers. Even I, no fan of fruit, started to get pretty excited.

This becomes a dilemna. Most conversations have been beginnig with "I don't want X to be sick, and I hope they get better soon but if it has to happen...." and then their eyes gleam up a bit as they start to think about the fruit. or the mail. or the idea of seeing a plane streak across the sky. But at the same time there is a bit of guilt, you don't want to be looking forward to the flight but you suddenly find yourself doing just that.

For me the situation is simply weird. I am not entirely sure what to think. Of course I will be thrilled to get some mail and I will enjoy some of the fresh food but the flight, this contact, seems so foreign. I feel as if this plane is puncturing my winter bubble. Which isn't OK because there won't be another plane until the end of August. My season is nowhere near over and yet I find myself thinking of planes, of flight, of leaving, of travel and it's barely even July.
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south pole
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Date:June 30th, 2011 11:16 am (UTC)
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It all sounds like perfectly human reactions to me. I share your hopes that your colleague's health improves.

As an outsider I admit to curiosity about what else rolls out in this situation. I assume you have psych staff down there and as this IS such a HUGE event do psych initiate anything to assist thise who are still there?
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Date:June 30th, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
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maybe. I am tossing around two ideas:
1) sydney, some time in Aus, a few weeks in papua new guinnea, some time in HI, LA, Dallas, home by early dec for some travels in the US.

2) fly from CHC to Africa and spend two months doing some exploring.

it depends on how ambitious I want to be and how much $$ I want to spend.
Date:June 30th, 2011 06:55 pm (UTC)
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I hope they get better soon.. I'm sure it would be very scary for the person that's sick, knowing how isolated they are..
Glad to know those situations are rare.
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Date:June 30th, 2011 10:23 pm (UTC)
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Wild. I didn't think y'all could do evacs right now.

And totally grok the excitement over someones misfortune. That's what being a firefighter is all about. We don't want somebody to be hurt or their property damaged. But it's what we train for, so when you get a fully involved structure you're empathetic for the folks, but also excited that you get to battle the beast you've been studying.
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Date:July 1st, 2011 12:30 am (UTC)
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I see no reason to be happy about the upsides of a bad situation.  If i was the person being evacuated, i'd be glad that some good was coming of my plight. ☺
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Date:July 1st, 2011 12:34 am (UTC)
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I see no reason not to be happy about the upsides of a bad situation.  If i was the person being evacuated, i'd be glad that some good was coming of my plight. ☺
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Date:July 1st, 2011 03:17 am (UTC)
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That seems a natural reaction to me. Wouldn't X also have looked forward to the flight since it would presumably bring X to more comprehensive medical care? Here's hoping X gets better soon.