From Doc Gurley at Sfgate.com:
So I’ve come to appreciate many things after my trip to Haiti. First and foremost, the staggering resilience of the Haitian people. Only, I also have a bone-deep anger, on behalf of my 100 year old patient, and on behalf of all those people who are being asked to leave their tiny patch of mud, and people who are dying of diarrhea, that no one should HAVE to be that resilient. There are, in fact, in our world of random affluence, things that are just wrong.
Second, I have also come to appreciate my toilet. She works beautifully. I am now very aware that under her is a sewer line that connects me to an entire social network. Our flag should have a toilet on it – it is a symbol of how we, as a people, work together to improve our lives and our health – the lives and health of even the least of us. It is a symbol of what progress is all about, and a bottom-line (pardon the pun) measure of any country’s success.
As those storms blow through Haiti, and floods rise, spreading misery and more cholera far and wide, you may feel the urge to turn off the news – if for no other reason than because you can’t take it any more. And because there’s nothing you feel like you can do to make a difference. If so, I encourage you to do one small thing. I encourage you steal this video, below. I spent a weekend making it with good friends. It is a mostly-wordless instruction video, suitable for any country, about how to make life-saving oral rehydration solution, using only things that a person living in a sheet city would have. I was appalled to find that there are almost zero YouTube videos about Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) – almost all (except for one in the Hausa language depicting an upper-middle-class housed family) are commercials for electrolyte drinks.