Sunday, September 10, 2017

Darwin would be amazed

The Darwin Awards are a tongue-in-cheek honor, originating in Usenet newsgroup discussions around 1985. They recognize individuals who have supposedly contributed to human evolution by selecting themselves out of the gene pool via death or sterilization by their own actions.
The project became more formalized with the creation of a website in 1993, and followed up by a series of books starting in 2000, authored by Wendy Northcutt. The criterion for the awards states, "In the spirit of Charles Darwin, the Darwin Awards commemorate individuals who protect our gene pool by making the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives. Darwin Award winners eliminate themselves in an extraordinarily idiotic manner, thereby improving our species' chances of long-term survival.

This week, there were people flying INTO Florida. There were people choosing to travel to Florida.

We are not talking about First Responders, or Nurses, or Emergency Rescue personnel. We are talking about normal, every day people who made the choice to be in Florida - during Hurricane Irma. They choose to GO TO THE STATE with mandatory evacuations in place.

Folks, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
Forget about the storm surge. Forget about days (weeks?) of no electricity, or fresh drinking water. And the lack of food, or supplies. It might take days for gasoline supply trucks to replenish the “out of gas” stations.
As I sit here writing this blog in New Jersey, I cannot help but remember Hurricane Sandy. Our town was without electricity for days. Gas lines were long for a week. It took a full month for some basic utilities to be restored.
People with little to no money were so desperate to evacuate Florida. If they could get out, they would have done so. Some people had no choice, they did not have the means to follow the mandatory evacuation orders.

To those of you who choose to travel TO Florida during such an event, I salute you. You were safe, and you choose to place yourself in harm’s way. You were out of danger, and you choose to place yourself in danger. You are selfish, as you will be just one more person that our already over-worked First Responders and Emergency Personnel now need to worry about.

OK, new topic:
Every 40 seconds, someone in the USA has a heart attack.
Why do more heart attacks and sudden deaths occur on Monday than on any other day of the week?
According to researchers, an "outpouring" of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, occurs within working people on Mondays. These findings were substantiated in a study of 683 patients, predominantly middle-aged men with implanted defibrillators and a history of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. The data led researchers to conclude that Monday is the most stressful day of the week when it comes to risk factors for heart attack.
What I find provocative about the study is that its participants showed a prominent peak in arrhythmias on Mondays—21 percent of episodes—even if they were no longer working! That was followed by a mid-week decline in arrhythmias and a second peak on Fridays. Not surprisingly, Saturdays and Sundays saw a 50 percent lower arrhythmia rate than did Mondays.

Why do Mondays continue to be the peak day for arrhythmias? Your body always remembers and anticipates stressful events. So, even though the participants in the study were not working, the fact that their bodies anticipated going to work on Monday triggered the identical biochemical stress hormones, increasing the heart attack risk factors that led to potentially lethal ventricular arrhythmias.

So, let’s tie it all together.  Tomorrow is a Monday. And in Florida, tomorrow is a Monday - with a 100 year Hurricane. A Monday in Florida, with millions of people without electricity. Millions of people without the ability to travel. What a great time to have a heart attack (or any emergency medical condition).

Those of you who decided to travel TO Florida (from safety) to harm’s way, your Darwin Award will be waiting for you.  Or for your next of kin to pick up for you.

From CNN today:

"There is imminent danger of life-threatening storm surge flooding along much of the Florida's coastline. The threat of catastrophic storm surge flooding is highest along the southwest coast of Florida, where 10 to 15 feet of inundation above ground level is expected. This is a life-threatening situation."

Still, not everyone heeded orders to evacuate Florida. Wayne Ploghoft is hunkered down on the third floor of a building on Marco Island -- where catastrophic storm surges are imminent. Ploghoft said he wasn't able to evacuate because his flight plans didn't work out. Now Ploghoft and three others are holed up with stockpiles of water, canned food and battery power.

Wayne WANTED to get out of harm's way, but could not.
To those of you who traveled TO Florida, ignoring all of the warnings, congratulations. You are now part of the problem. You are now just one more person that our First Responders have to worry about. Thanks!

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