Disparate trauma hold hands


Watching the 3 mile island docuseries on Netflix and remembering the shadow cast by it. The fear you couldn’t control with reason because you’d spent grade school diving under desks in nuclear bomb drills. I was 18 when the 3 mile island “accident” occurred and I went to see the movie “The China Syndrome”. The audience collectively gasped at the line about an area the size of Pennsylvania being uninhabitable if it occurred. The unknowable around the effects of the deliberate slow daily release of radiation to shrink the hydrogen bubble to avoid an explosion and core meltdown. Then it fades into a memory of a near miss except for those close by who were poisoned in high enough doses to see physical manifestations. Three years later when the core was examined we learned we were a mere half hour way from our nuclear nightmare. Then they pretended a cleanup years later.

Forty years later a global pandemic and that old fear you can’t control with reason rises to visit for a much longer stretch of time than 3 mile Island cultivated. Familiar, and no comfort in that familiarity. Gods know I don’t have the level of naiveté I possessed when I was 18. I wonder what terror my remaining years will witness. And still I hope…

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