Comments of the Week: Our Readers on Hurricane Sandy

Storified by The Nation · Fri, Nov 02 2012 14:40:33

This week, our thoughts and much of our content was focused on the destruction wrought on the East Coast by Hurricane Sandy. Here are some poignant and thoughtful responses about the disaster from our readers. 
First, on twitter, some shared tips for helping Sandy’s victims: 
.@SarahArnold8 or go to #SandyVolunteers. @thenationNadine Finigan
“@DanielSquadron: @SarahArnold8 @thenation Here’s info: on how to volunteer w recovery efforts:”Kym Clark
1/2 @thenation good article, except for the title. Climate change is urgent. Also, racism, shock doctrine, disaster capitalism & the con-Rosana Cruz
@thenation @badler @skugs 2/2 continuing project of colonialism makes us different. NYC may suffer similarly, but they aren’t us. Can’t be.Rosana Cruz
I live in New Orleans and it always pisses me off when people say "that’s what they get for living there". I don’t wish storm danger or damage on anyone, but now maybe others can sympathize with us.James Robertson
In response to Mark Hertsgaard’s “Hurricane Sandy as Greek Tragedy.”  
Hopefully, we can change tragedy into something positive, but I fear that we still face a long uphill battle. We’re still against corporate greenwashing, international Arctic exploration, bipartisan tar sands support, and the myth of clean coal. However, now that more people are starting to talk about climate change and to share their personal experiences, we may be able to use public will to get some momentum.James M. Harmon
In response to articles by Dave Zirin and Michelle Dean on whether the New York City marathon, now canceled, should have went ahead as planned on Sunday. 
Excellent article. My mom works on a hospital in Staten Island and is estimating the death toll closer to 100. People lost everything! And it’ll take longer than a week to recover. Though as a nice complement, and as if to prove the "values of community and fair play" that Dave characterizes marathon runners with, Gothamist is reporting on some efforts by marathon runners to use the event to volunteer and bring help to those most in need:…With Love: Postpone the Damn Marathon | The Nation
Strength in the face of tragedy is always, in my opinion, a good thing.  What would make the running of the marathon a truly appropriate thing post-Sandy, is if ING steps up in Staten Island and elsewhere and drops some cash to help in those hard hit communities.  I think that might happen because of columns like yours. However, I agree with the running of the marathon.  Yes, it’s symbolic.  Your arguments are all correct; I simply disagree with your conclusion.  NYC is a great city that will survive Sandy.  Memorials will be built and dedicated to those who lost their lives, but in the meantime, NYC and the rest of the world needs to know, even symbolically, that they will be all right. I understand the controversy, but believe that (if ING and the other corporate sponsors step up…and in this time of anti-corporatism, they might actually do it) running the marathon is an important step in healing.The Political Narcissism of the New York Marathon | The Nation
I am trying to imagine folks that have lost power, homes and sanitary living conditions being housed in hotels only to be told to leave so the New York Marathoners, who had booked rooms, can occupy the hotels!  Postponement seems more imaginable!The Political Narcissism of the New York Marathon | The Nation
I have trouble believing that there would be a significant economic impact from delaying it a few weeks. If anything more businesses will be able to be up and running by then. As a runner, I know that travel and training plans would be impacted and some runners wouldn’t be able to make it, but the thought of running through Staten Island right now just feels so distasteful. A race in three weeks would be uplifting.  The image of runners pouring water on their heads and throwing half filled cups on the ground as they pass half demolished houses with no running water could end up being an iconic "out of touch" moment.The Political Narcissism of the New York Marathon | The Nation
I get why they’re going ahead. A hundred of million of dollars to the local economy which is losing 200 mil per day and a sense of ‘normalcy’ to bolster morale. I do worry that security resources might be diverted, particularly for addressing Staten Island’s desperate needs. Tough call either way.Dave Denoy
Better yet, hold it, but make all the people coming into the city to run in it perform a full day of cleanup/community service if they want to receive their runner’s number.Max Gordon
Dave, Thank you for saying this.  I have been having this argument with my running group and almost none of them understand.  I think most of them are in a bubble.  Most of my family is on Staten Island and people there keep telling me that every day they keep hearing about someone new that has died or has lost their home.  If you look at NYRR’s Facebook page, almost all of the comments are against holding the marathon now.  First responders are exhausted and stretched thin as it is.  How safe will Central Park really be for all the people congregating in the park after the race?  The truckloads of water, food and even the porto-potties are a slap in the face to those without food and water.  The financial benefits argument doesn’t hold water right now either.  It sounds like a lot of people from out of town and overseas are not coming and the ones that do will not be able to get around to spend as much money as they would have.  Some people are saying that because Broadway shows are back up and other professional sport games are being played that the marathon should go on.  But those things do not require the already stretched public resources to go on.  I have also noted the large number of comments on NYRR’s FB page that threaten the runners with violence.  Maybe they get these threats every year, I don’t know, but it just seems like it will not be safe for the runners that do run.With Love: Postpone the Damn Marathon | The Nation