Friday, August 29, 2008

Here's a riddle.

Q) When is the worst time for medical waste to wash up on the shore of a resort town?

A) Well, maybe Memorial Day weekend. But second would be Labor Day weekend. Which is what happened.

Isn't that disgusting, dangerous and disappointing all rolled into one? Who would dump syringes, dirty latex, etc. into the ocean? People really suck sometimes. Luckily, no one was injured by any of this nonsense. Or, I suppose I should say directly injured by stepping on said medical waste.

But, really, the effects will be far reaching.

Already, beaches have been closed. Reopened (half of them) late today, however who knows what kind of damage that did to the economy. Half of the beaches remain closed through at least tomorrow. How many people ditched weekend plans here because of the medical waste situation plastered all over the news? I certainly wouldn't want to bring my kids here and let them go into the ocean.

The businesses in this town rely on a successful summer season to profit enough to get them through the rest of the year. Holiday weekends - especially Labor Day, the last big hurrah of summer - are especially important. It's enough of an issue having to gamble on the weather, let alone needing to worry about something like the careless, selfish nature of someone who would dump medical waste into the ocean.

Then, there's the ocean itself. Doesn't it see enough pollutants, trash and the like? The animals and plant life have enough to battle with boaters and fishermen. Dumping something as disgusting as medical waste into the water is so beyond disrespectful to the environment.

It's also completely unbelievable. Maybe I have too much faith in people, but something that could have easily seriously harmed countless people shouldn't be happening here. Am I overreacting to this? Maybe. Are there much, much bigger problems? Sure there are.

But there will always be bigger problems. And, really, you have to care even about the smaller ones. There are tons of consequences, no matter how trivial it may seem.

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