Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

“It’s Not The Heat. It’s The Stupidity.”

Not a surprise to those of us who live in Florida, we just began hurricane season a month ago. And we now have our first hurricane approaching, Elsa. Such a friendly name, a Disney princess in fact. Nothing like Katrina who would likely be a rushing spy, or Irma, a cranky old librarian (Harry Potter reference to Irma Pince).

A surprise to those who do not live in Florida, we just began hurricane season a month ago. And now there is a hurricane approaching.

For those of use who live here, having been through strong named storms, most recently Irma, we know how to prepare. More importantly, we know not to panic. But for those that vacation or migrate here for periods of time, it is a different story. But how we handle it as residents, and how they handle it as tourists, our priorities could not be more different.

A post this morning torqued me the wrong way, not easy to do, but if there is one thing that I fault in people, is not keeping perspective in life, the things that are important. The post read, “HELP! I am arriving on Wednesday! What is going to happen with the storm?” Social media did not disappoint with their responses. I chose to bite my tongue because I would not have been as kind as the smartass answers that were posting. “You’re going to get wet.” “Party!” Eventually the post was removed because I am certain the responses were getting quite extreme either in sarcasm or worse.

This is a photo from the aftermath of Irma several years ago. I was living 50 yards from where this photo was taken. Yet, within two weeks of the hurricane landing here, people were travelling here to continue with their plans to vacation. And then, they were shocked and pissed because their environment had not been cleaned up yet after just two weeks. The truth is, many in this particular area were still without power.

This was not the first time I saw this behavior. The year prior, the Everglades had a monstrous brush fire. That was more than twenty miles away from me, yet, I had quarter coin sized ashes falling in my parking lot. Vacationers would come in to the building off the beach, complaining about being showered with ash, and it was ruining their vacations. Living here, I was more than aware of the totality of loss that residents were experiencing, and I snapped. “What the hell is wrong with you! You are worried about your vacation? You do realized people have lost, or are losing their homes to this fire?!”

A close friend of mine used to quip during the summers, especially during heat waves, “just remember, it is not the heat, it is the stupidity.” I have now come to realize just how true this actually is. It is no longer “not the heat but the humidity,” but rather the stupidity and the drama that people seek.

Amusement parks have finally opened and are doing what they can, especially when it comes to mitigation efforts and staffing. Many are struggling to get back to full operating capacity with staffing. And of course, the griping and the sniping of the inconveniences to those who want their park to be open now and in full are sounding off. These people do not care about the problems that the park is dealing with, and they are dealing with them, it is an inconvenience to the individual consumer… DAMMIT! I can only sit here shaking my head.

Even on local levels, local residents struggle balancing their selfishness with understanding, and what they know to be the situation. Snack shacks at community pools and the shortage of staffing, have led to rudeness by adults waiting in line, not kids, but adults. I guess they would be happier with the snack shacks closed until they could be open. But wait, we have just been “closed” for over a year, and DAMMIT you want everything opened 100% just like it was prior to the pandemic.

Even our skies are no longer friendly. Statistically speaking, there have been more incidents on airplanes in six months, than there were all of the prior year. And of course, 65% of those incidents were sparked by morons refusing to follow orders of the attendants to wear the masks and properly. While they do not go into individual detail, that means there is still 800 cases this year, non-mask related, that people got out of hand with flight attendants. What the hell is wrong with people.

The US is in the middle of this ridiculous heatwave like we have never seen before. But clearly these behaviors were happening before the heatwave. Maybe my friend was right, it is not the heat, but the stupidity that is causing people to lose perspective of what is important.

Then again, not everyone has had to deal with life threatening situations to remember what is actually important in life.

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