Media Reports

15 Dec

In the past two weeks, there have been several reported news items which have affected me in a very profound way.

Suicide

The first news item was about the death of a female nurse who was “pranked” by two Australian DJs followng the admission of The Duchess of Cambridge into the hospital, experiencing “severe morning sickness.”

I followed this news item with great interest. Who was the nurse? Why did she do it? Did the DJs feel remorse? How do they feel? Were there any underlying issues – relationship problems, mental health etc? These, and lots of other questions were spinning around in my head.

Like most of the world, I wanted to know, wanted answers. As the hours ticked by, I tried to analyse the turn of events. Then, we had a face, a name and a picture emerged of who this unidentified nurse was. A beloved, hard working nurse, mother of two. The ‘back story’ I had created for this nurse was that she was a righteous, respected woman who, since the prank, had felt her pride and reputation had been severely dented. There might have been underlying issues and people had asked or said that a sane person would not commit suicide over a mere prank. But I said it all depends on how that person feels “inside”; If someone who is hardworking, abides by all the policies and procedures of an organisation feels that they have been “tainted ” through no fault of their own, with the possibility of facing undue pressure from their employers or higher authorities, potentially disciplainary action or dismissal from an occupation they clearly enjoy and wish to continue working in, the pressure and comments made  are bound to increase stress levels and anxiety. You begin to question your own integrity, discipline and professional outlook. Elements of paranoia and fear may set in…Trust and honesty may be breached, livelihoods left in ruins…an almalgamation of mixed and confused feelings can leave a person in such a vulnerable state of mind, they may be driven to do things out of the ordinary.  In this case, the nurse took her own life.

The whole tragedy reminded me of a comment I had posted on Facebook and Twitter on 5 October 2012: “sometimes you have to be very careful of what you say because a comment said in jest could have devastating or catastrophic consequences”.

Homeless

The seond news story, or rather a Panorama documentary shown on BBC1 Thursday 14 Dec 2012 dealt with people who were on the verge of becoming Homeless. It presented four very different cases involving individuals or families who had fallen on hard times. For me, two cases in particular received my sympathies. One individual had returned from the United States after his marriage and successful banking career came crashing down. The man was so desperate and destitute, he had a charity pay for his return flight to his home country. the doc-makers followed him as he made a park bench his “home”. Fortunately, after several attempts at being rehoused, he was provided  safe accommodation and was on his way to applying for jobs as an investment banker. The other case was a woman who was receiving chemotherapy. Her husband had walked out on her a  number of years previously and she was left to fend for herself. No matter what happened, the woman in question appeared to remain optimistic and buoyant in mood. However, what angered me most is how the Bailiffs, Housing providers and others involved in her case appeared to show no remorse, sympathy or an understanding of her situation, If she did not accept the first place of accomodatiopn as her new home, she would be deemed as “intentionally homeless”. Unfortunately, she did not accep ther new flat as she thought it was “unsafe” and ended up becoming a “sofa surfer”. What hit home about this programme was the fact that the recession, poor economy and housing crisis can effect anybody and everybody in some way, but it became apparent that it didn’t matter that someone could be dying and if they did not meet the necessary criteria, they would be deemed as “intentionally homeless”.  The stark reality of today is that the Housing the Homeless sysytem/processes needs to be overhauled and a more humanitarian and compassionate approach needs to be taken.

Guns

The gun laws in America have been debated for years and years. The shocking tragedy of a school massacre in Conneticut yesterday (Friday 14 Dec 2012) proved that something needs to be done to change the systems over there. How many more shootings can or will occur before America decides to “wake up and smell the coffee?” To know that there were a number of youngsters aged between 6-7 years old, their whole lives ahead of them, spending their day at school, would have their opportunities snatched away from them in seconds is purely cruel and evil. I love children and like to see them at play, laughing, smiling, being inquisitive as they grow and generally just being children. I found the whole saga extremely unsettling, distressing and upsetting. I feel for the victims and survivors, itheir families, friends and the teachers who had to endure the suffering, pain and anguish. I hope that the survivors, young and old,  are able to overcome this horrific incident  and rebuild their lives, Not only that, I hope that someone, somewhere is able to be strong and lobby the US legal system re: gun laws and makes it possible to change it for the better, so that ease of access to such legal arms don’t fall into the wrong hands and they (US) end up having more victims.

Blessed are those who R.I.P.

The Learned Kat

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