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Finally, there is the argument that continuing with the marathon means that we in New York City have "returned to normal." Except that we haven't, not even close. Some of us never lost normal. I consider myself to be extraordinarily lucky in that regard and can't even comprehend the loss that so many are dealing with right now. Some people who were or are planning to run the marathon still haven't gotten their power back yet. Some people have lost their homes. Some people have lost loved ones. Why exactly should they be expected to "return to normal" on the time table set by people who never left it in the first place?
Something that I don't think everyone understands yet is that Hurricane Sandy is in no way comparable to the blackout of 2003. The blackout that year lasted less than 24 hours—many of which were in daylight on a balmy August day. This is not a case of the lights being turned off. Hurricane Sandy is not a discrete tragedy. It has affected hundreds of thousands of people and compromised everything they hold close. The marathon is set to begin in an area that was severely damaged in the storm, where streets were flooded and houses destroyed. In Staten Island, young children were ripped out of their mother's arms and killed by the floodwaters, people were killed helping get others to safety, a father and his teenage daughter died and the mother is in the ICU. Bodies are still being found.
This city doesn't need the manufactured togetherness of the marathon. We don't need to watch thousands of runners crossing the Verrazano Bridge in order to be visually impressed. I think we all got enough awe-inspiring imagery over the last week to last a lifetime. It has been less than a week since the storm. Conducting the marathon as scheduled is not a sign of resilience, it's a sign of obliviousness.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen