Op-Ed: The pandemic, Hurricane Ian and me — a doctor whose friends say I have PTSD
When Hurricane Iain hit the Florida Panhandle last week, I thought the worst was behind us. I was wrong.
I drove out to Pensacola and took a look at the damage we’d left in our wake — the fallen trees, downed power lines, flood-ravaged neighborhoods with no power or water, collapsed concrete homes.
But for some reason, the images of destruction weren’t the least bit shocking. It turned out that most people were completely unfazed. It was a relief. It was easy to see the damage and still think it wasn’t so bad.
As I was trying to make sense of all of this in the middle of the hurricane, I began to suspect that I was in the midst of a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Here’s what’s been going on for me during the past month since Iain made landfall — and what has happened since.
The stress of Iain
I’m sure that many readers of this newspaper are probably familiar with my previous articles on this topic, but since that time Iain and Hurricane Harvey have happened, and there are several other factors, I’ve added a few paragraphs about them in this article.
Iain was a Category 4 storm on Thursday, September 1 while Harvey was a Category 4 storm two days later. But, at no time did Iain or Harvey pose any threat to the life or well-being of any Pensacola or Escambia County family, business or government entity.
But, that’s not what Iain was designed to be.
Iain was supposed to bring winds of 145 mph and heavy rains of between 10 and 20 inches, but our goal was to have Iain be a Category 1 hurricane for the entire duration it was coming to Florida. Because of the way the eye of the storm formed, Iain did not have the potential to do a lot of damage to anything.
But when Iain arrived in Florida, it’