Haiti Update: After the Aftershock
January 20, 2010
The earthquake woke me up this morning. I ran for the exit without thinking because I saw other people running, and I followed. This aftershock led to a few interesting events. Firstly, a Portuguese reporter got scared and jumped from the balcony of our one-storied dwelling. He was promptly surrounded by doctors and had a blanket wrapped around him as a precaution. He thought he fractured his ankle and confessed he was embarrassed by the whole event. Another doctor in our group commented that he should be embarrassed because the reporter showed a failure to exercise good judgment as well as demonstrated his failure to fly.
Secondly, the result of the aftershock was no one at the hospital would return to the building. One woman confessed that when she heard a door open she would shudder with terror. Because of their refusal, we’re finding very sick patients, waiting to be treated, are exposed to too much sunlight. Still they don’t want to be inside a building, even if it’s a hospital.
We worked to adapt and overcome this fear by building outdoor tents. Even so, it was still hot. Luckily supplies and help are picking up. We can now get intravenous fluids into patients. One translator was moving beds and patients outdoors. Even the patients who couldn't run and remained behind, refused to stay indoors. Though he smiled in this picture our translator told me he was exhausted by early morning. He was healthy.