March 27, 2020, Letters to the Editor

Category: Letters to the Editor
Created on Friday, 27 March 2020 15:45
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Wonderful Sitka

Dear Editor: How I love Sitka! Whatta town!! Today, 56 years after the Great Alaskan Earthquake of 1964, I just have to share my profound gratitude for the special qualities of this small coastal community in Southeast Alaska. In 1964 I was in Anchorage, living on Wintergreen Street in Airport Heights, pregnant with my first child. Memories.

March 24, 1989, the largest oil spill in North America, the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, and I was again engaged in disaster research. Memories.

And now, The Pandemic of 2020: A creeping, world-wide disaster of huge human ramifications. And I am a creature obsessed with what is called The Disaster Syndrome. The warnings, rumors, blaming, scapegoating, denial, communication problems, rallying of support, altruism, followed by anger as the long range ramifications register. The gross inequities that somehow are highlighted, painfully. The assumptions money will melt away the agony, that new laws and regulations will emerge, ultimately, belatedly. That our capacity to survive will be challenged, but win. Lessons learned.

Ahha! That is one key lesson I learned: resilience, creative energy released, focussed, and new leadership, ideas, music, poetry. What really matters, our shared values, will be sharpened and validated.

And we will chuckle at some of the funny things that happened. I’ve got some doozers from the past. More recently: after a nap yesterday, I looked and looked for my comfy, worn-out slippers. Not on the floor by the bed, not in the closet, not in the bathroom. Finally, a random glance down - and there they were: on my feet!! Keep track of the crazy things, share them, and laugh.

Today I am especially grateful to our local media. At this point of the disaster syndrome accurate information is, and will remain, critical to our shared recovery, and our community sharpened awareness of who and what we are. Time for a refreshing walk.

Thank you. Gunalcheesh. Salamat.


Nancy Yaw Davis, Sitka