I really should have posted this yesterday, but I have my office staff as my witnesses. I gave 5:1 odds that Bush doesn't mention Katrina or New Orleans in his State of the Union address, and 10:1 that he doesn't mention the Mississippi Gulf Coast. And I was right on both counts.
I realize that this week I seem to have gone from "Just Practicing" to "The Katrina Blog." I promise I will get back to more medicine-related stuff soon. But you must realize that:
(1) For those of us here in the Katrina Disaster Zone, this is really all-encompassing. It affects truly every aspect of life here, every minute of the day, everywhere you go. I'll stop writing about Katrina when things are back to normal. That should be in about another 10 years or so.
(2)...Or it might be never. Katrina has been a life-changing event, not only for the residents here, but for our entire country. Disaster response and recovery has become a prime issue for people everywhere, but we obviously still have a lot to learn. In fact, even though citizens have taken many lessons to heart, I'm not sure our government has learned any lessons yet, and seems doomed to repeat them when (and not IF) the next disaster strikes.
(3) Don't ask us to "get over it." We haven't asked New Yorkers to "get over" 9/11. 9/11 changed America's entire mindset and priorities--as it should have. 9/11 was a man-made disaster with profound repercussions. Yet Katrina, a natural disaster affecting far many more people, has already faded into memory, as Bush's speech last night illustrates so well.
(4) Finally, things are not chugging along smoothly down here, despite what y'all might think. I'd refer you to this enlightening article at Gulf Coast News.
And besides, it's my blog, so I can write what I want. Ideally its focus is on the intersection between Katrina and health care, but it's going to veer back and forth at times. Hopefully, wherever it goes, it will continue to hold your interest. And I promise that there's lots more of Katrina Story to tell.