I want to touch on Raven's message yesterday, because I think it's important in a lot of ways. The first thing that struck me about her words was how effortlessly she revealed the depth of our ignorance here in New Haven. Communication is often spotty and almost always difficult now, but we thought we had a pretty good handle on it. With a few paragraphs, Raven showed us that our knowledge of the wider world is still missing huge pieces. The few communities in the east we're in touch with are apparently just the tip of the population iceberg in that region of the country. There appear to be many more survivors than we imagined in that third of the country.
Also fascinating was her offer to take in victims of that massive storm. I understand the devastation on the east coast was worst on the actual shorelines, but from a few messages we've had it's clear that what happened further inland was pretty close behind. Raven's community has spent a lot of time and effort making sure they're secure from outsiders. They've cleaned their local area free of zombies and are lucky enough to live somewhere that doesn't see a lot of undead traffic. Her offer of safe haven to survivors of the storm who need a place to go is amazing to me.
It's the same mentality that brings my own people together. We get a lot of low-level zombie attacks here, not bad enough to require calling in people like me who are only used in case of an emergency. But when the shit hits the fan and we have to go, every unites as one. We become a united front in defending our home and each other from the hungry swarms. To a lesser degree we try to do right by other communities, but time and again we've proven (as have many of our allies) that there are limits. We will risk ourselves for others, but we won't go further than we think we can handle. It's survival at its most basic: dying for a stranger isn't a good trade for the people back home.
It always made sense to me. In fire/rescue school, I learned that hard lesson. All firefighters have to internalize it until it becomes second nature. Helping others is a noble choice, but no first responder should take a suicidal risk to save a life. Because if you die and they die it was pointless, and all the other people you might have saved down the road won't have you there.
But Raven's people are doing that. I'm not knocking their choice at all, I think it's wonderful that they're taking on victims of mother nature's fury. Any survivor knows fear on a deep, visceral level when they encounter strangers, though. To take a risk like this and accept large groups of unknown variables into their home...well, I can only imagine it because we've done something similar here. Granted, North Jackson acted as a sort of barrier for us in that sense, as they had time to learn about our new arrivals before sending them here. No surprises for us.
It's a brave thing Raven's people are doing, and I hope there are no bad apples among the people that come to live in her home. The cynic in me wants to talk about how dangerous this move is, but that wouldn't be news to anyone. I'm more amazed and kind of awed by it, to be straight with you. That an entire community can overcome that instinctive terror and risk so much out of sheer compassion fills my heart. I wish we were strong that way...but then that cynical part reminds me that we've had the chance, and would likely have suffered greatly as a result, and I'm glad that someone else is doing it but also glad we didn't.
That might make me a bad person. I can live with that.