Florida needs to help the injured
There’s a great tragedy on the horizon in Florida. After Hurricane Irma devastated parts of the state, a number of people were left injured. While those numbers don’t tend to make the headlines that deaths do, they are always larger than the number of deaths, and in some ways more tragic, because their stories carry on long after media attention.
The worry now is that there won’t be enough government assistance to help those who will suffer injuries that require extensive medical attention. For some, that will be no more than a few trips to the doctor’s office for a broken arm or some abrasions (expensive enough, and completely unaffordable for many), but for others, the struggle will be much longer lasting, and their cases are the ones we should attend to most.
For those who end up with long-term disabilities that keep them from working and earning enough for their means of living, let alone their medical bills, the struggle could be devastating. I have yet to see any articles addressing their needs. We need a massive amount of resources dedicated to helping them return to a normal quality of life without being burdened by enormous debts incurred just to keep living.
The nightmare scenarios for such people could include simply living with the pain, homelessness, or even death. While we’re rebuilding roads and electric grids, we need to be sure we are attending to these people so such things don’t happen.
It was heartbreaking enough seeing how many died in our Florida nursing homes after Irma hit. Despite knowing the likelihood of major hurricanes every year, we simply weren’t prepared to ensure those most in need of protection were in fact protected.
We can’t let that happen again. What we need is a public fund to make sure anyone injured in Hurricane Irma is protected from financial burdens until they are healed. This program could then also be used for those in Houston and Puerto Rico, so that they too are able to return to their lives as soon as possible, or at least, find some comfort and normalcy after so much pain and tragedy.
However, I am not confident we can trust the government to come with this program by itself. We should petition or else find lawyers who might sue on behalf of the injured to bring the idea to the forefront.
What is crucial, however, is that we don’t leave our fellow citizens behind. We have to have compassion for those who were injured through no fault of their own. We need to show our patriotism and show our big hearts by insisting the government do its duty and protect those who can’t protect themselves. By developing a program that makes sure people keep their homes and can get healthy, we can ensure they return to the workforce and general society not just healthy, not just happy, but ready to be productive.