John McCusker’s story will be used to demonstrate how the stresses of Katrina can break an individual down. I hope he can resolve his problems.
But, McCusker’s friend and editor Terry Baquet gave a response in this NY Times article that showed how the stress can break a community down:
When asked about sadness at the newspaper, which won two Pulitzer Prizes this year for its Hurricane Katrina coverage, he added: “I don’t think you can tell, and it’s fair to say everyone’s affected. We live with Katrina every day.”He can’t distinguish the sadness his coworkers feel for their colleague’s troubles from the way they act every day. Wow.
The proverbial straw broke the camel’s back a long time ago for us as a community. So, when the occasional individual’s straw breaks, we all understand more than empathize and just go about living our everyday life after Katrina.
That’s the way we live in New Orleans. We live with Katrina every day.
McCusker spent the night in jail under observation for injuring a police officer, when he was really trying to injure himself. He will be released. But he will be released to the same world that got him there. The same world we all live in – a world where these episodes are more likely to happen and a world that is poorly equipped to deal with them.
Stay strong. Be cool. For yourself and the community.
Live with Katrina every day. Doing that means 1) you’re living, and 2) you’re in, or near, New Orleans.
Two positives, if you ask me.