Keeping the fear on the ground: TCYasi & Me

My last post was about my feelings about being stuck in Cairns while Brisbane, our home, was undergoing the biggest floods in it’s recorded history.

Today I’m posting about sitting here at the computer in Brisbane while my family embark on the clean up of their homes in Townsville, Innisfail, Babinda and Cairns.

Today I’m reflecting on the fear that seemed to truly grip us during this period. On the evening of the cyclone I posted a response to a facebook friend’s expression of fear. I said:

… it is scary! But remember our fear is heightened by us constantly talking about it – we’re sending out msgs on fb, getting updates on Twitter, watching press conferences on YouTube & watch radar on BOM. So when you’re scared, remember that your fear has an adreniline rush courtesy of our ‘hyperlinked’ world. I know one old Murri woman in Innisfail who is refusing to budge. She probably has no FB, just her experience of many large & small cyclones over 8 decades, and of course ABC radio. Absolutely this is a big one and if you’re unprepared you will be in danger. However we also live in a first world country. So our response and the outcome is proportionate to the infrastructure we expect, should have and do have ….. Fear is a good thing. We just need to keep our fear based in the world we can touch and not LET it get out of control courtesy of the VIRTUAL world.

I for one am so grateful that I was able to keep in touch with my family over the past 48 hours. That I was able to offer suggestions, advice and assistance. I’m grateful that through the night as Tropical Cyclone Yasi crossed the coast, I was in constant contact with my sister in Townsville. But I’m also wary. Wary of becoming so completely absorbed in the coverage that it blinds, me and paralyses me and allows me to hypen my reality. We need to be careful as individuals, as communities and nations that we also monitor our fear and make sure it’s based on the real world rather than the imagined.

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