In today’s Letters section of The New York Times, a lady of means with far too much time on her hands writes breathlessly about to the deadly fallout from the 9/11 attacks that is silently stalking some of the tonier outer suburbs of New York City.
I was on Nantucket on 9/11. I returned to Connecticut in early October and was immediately tortured by my sinuses. At first I put it down to allergies, but when the congestion continued after two hard freezes, I began to think of ground zero.
Almost everyone I knew, even those who had never been plagued before, was suffering from the same symptoms. I also developed the "mystery itch," which disappeared the minute we got back to Nantucket in May. However, by September, the sinus condition had hit the island, along with widespread bronchitis and asthma. I was hospitalized with both. The itch is now on the Cape.
If you give some thought to the prevailing wind direction, and the length of time the fires burned, it makes sense that many surrounding states could well have been affected.
So let’s see. The smoke from the smoldering wreckage in lower Manhattan drifted over the Upper West Side, the Bronx, Yonkers, Mount Vernon, Harrison, White Plains and about a dozen other communities with a total population of about 8 million people and tortured the sinuses of Ms. Blackwell in picturesque Ridgefield, Connecticut.
After that, the death cloud traveled further over Danbury, Bridgeport, New Haven, Providence, (among the foulest cities on the East Coast) to alight once again, this time on Nantucket, where it appears to have leveled the population there like an itching bronchial scythe.
Widespread bronchitis on Nantucket! The bastards! Mohammed Atta & Co were far more diabolical than we ever imagined.
The sight of so many nice people filling the emergency room at the Skakel Medical Center, all the Lilly Pulitzer sweater sets shredded from the persistent itching, the polite but relentless coughing in the overcrowded ward, the ghastly pile of Docksiders at the door to wine cellar/morgue where the overflowing cadavers are kept cool (but not icy) until the family attorney can claim them . . . see now what our misguided, arrogant, foreign policy has wrought!
And it gets worse . . . now the itch is on The Cape!!
Where is the outrage? Where is the coverage? Why is this scourge -- which disproportionately effects the richest 1% of Americans -- being ignored by our elected representatives?!
This reminds me of that scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail in which some nut accuses a woman of being a witch by saying "she turned me into a newt!" When asked why he was no longer a newt he sheepishly says, "ummm . . . I got better."
We're all hoping you get better Ms. Blackwell.