Friday, November 8, 2013

Missing connections

I spent the last two days up in the San Juan Islands, looking for peace in which to write.  But I got more peace than I bargained for: a broken phone cable below the Sound on Tuesday had taken out all long distance services, most cell services, and disabled the 911 system. Internet services, email, credit card services -- everything that requires some long distance connection was pretty much inoperative.

I met with the assistant fire chief of Shaw Island, who is also in charge of emergency medical services on the island, and he expressed his particular concern for all the elderly residents whose health is less than optimal.  He had a team of people regularly checking on them, but if they should need major medical assistance it would definitely be slower to arrive than usual.  Fortunately they found a workaround to make 911 functional sometime yesterday afternoon.

I've taken breaks from communications in the past, but always consciously.  To find myself unexpectedly incommunicado, however, was surprisingly disturbing -- perhaps because I'm in the middle of several projects that require frequent communication with the outside world, but I suspect it's more than that.

I couldn't reassure my husband of my safe arrival, nor could I console a daughter after a difficult day at work.  I couldn't schedule two impending work assignments, and had no way of knowing if my dear friend Linda in the Philippines had survived the horrific typhoon that attacked those islands. (I now know she's okay, thank heaven.)

So, in the end, I came home.  I caved.  And now I find myself wondering: why are we not more aware of this outage?  Is it not being publicized because unscrupulous persons could take advantage of the situation?  Why is it taking so long to repair?  And what would life be like if such outages were more widespread?  A disturbing thought...

1 comment:

Linda Que said...

Hi, Diane. Our good God uses your loving, prayerful concern to cradle me. Psalm 46:2-3 assures us all on this day after the super typhoon here (and 3 weeks after the big earthquake): `God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress. Thus we do not fear, though earth be shaken and the mountains quake to the depths of the sea.' May He continue to bless you and your life.