Sunday, September 18, 2011

Needing to believe it is safe (part 2)

When I think about the open doors and windows in the schools and homes of the people of Minamisoma, I ask myself what the alternative is. Even the use of air conditioning during the oppressive heat would only serve to pull in more radiation from the outside. There just doesn't seem to be an easy solution.

Another big change that we saw compared to April was the number of homes where laundry and futons could be seen hanging outside to dry (the use of dryers in Japan is not common, and people typically hang laundry and futons outside to dry). In April, people had been cautioned against this practice due to the airborne radioactive dust particles. Yet now, laundry hanging outside to dry is a common sight.

Yuka helps hang the laundry outside.

Yuka helps her mother hang the laundry outside. Although a plastic roof protects the clothing and bedding from 'black rain', the wind blows freely across the balcony.

Laundry and futons hang outside to dry at a house in Minamisoma.

There isn't an easy solution to this problem and my intention here is not to criticize or judge. I understand the desire to put the potential danger to their children out of sight and out of mind. However, simply choosing to ignore the potential danger and pretending that everything is ok, only creates a sense of apathy toward the problem.

I don't want to think about the potential health risk to the thousands of children in Minamisoma either. But what is the alternative? To not think about it, to not let it rule our lives?

By not thinking about the harmful affects of radiation on the children, by not allowing this problem to rule our lives, will this protect the children?

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