Monday, December 13, 2010

Story-A-Day #32: Buried Alive


It started over night and hasn’t stopped since, a thick, fluffy white inundation of snow that has shut down most of northeastern North America. There have been reports of buildings collapsing, rampant power outages, people stranded in their cars.

Most people, those with enough sanity to know better than trying to go out at least, have holed themselves up in the relative safety of their homes. Given the options, it’s the only sensible thing to do really. Even if you were able to clear your car and enough driveway to get out into the street, the bits you started with are as bad as they were when you stepped outside by the time you are think you are ready. Besides, with the streets buried in up to two feet of snow in places, even if you could get your car to the road, it won’t be going anyway from there – and it isn’t much better for those on foot.

This storm has reinforced the value for hibernation, but eventually we will all have a reason to venture out into that cold crucible of snow and ice. For some it will be the pursuit of crucial supplies; food and water. For others, it will be warmth. We lost our power almost fourteen hours ago and the frost is slowly seeping its way in through the cracks. At best guess, we have another eight hours before the cold becomes unbearable and the blankets no longer provide a buffer from the cold.

At the moment though, it is neither sustenance nor shelter than concerns me. It is my wife and our youngest child. The fever settled in with the storm and our initial intents to ride it out are becoming less viable as an option. I had hoped that the fever would break, or the storm would lift, but neither seems likely.

They are on the couch right now, bundled up under whatever blankets and towels I could find, their greasy hair matted to their foreheads. The baby seems to have been spared so far, but she won’t stop crying. I am doing my best to be a rock for my family, to be their nurse, chef, and provider; but eventually I am going to have to be their saviour. I will have to get them to the hospital, if the hospital is even operational. I’ve been calling for the better part of a day, but to no avail.

With no power, I don’t suppose there is much they could do anyway, and with the rash of accidents both life threatening and less so, a couple of fevered individuals are pretty low on the priority scale.

I dug the car out as much as I could, but it really is a futile battle. I doubt that we could actually travel anywhere with the roads being how they are, but we might need the car for heat. We’ve got half a tank to get us through.

A storm like this really puts things into perspective. You never really know what it means to be left lacking until your entire world has been buried. And for now, we are amongst the lucky ones…

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