BY JEANICE HILL – This summer, COVID-19 wasn’t the only thing that interrupted plans. There were two hurricanes that not only disrupted our summer but also took lives. Hurricane Laura killed 26 people in Louisiana as of September 9, 2020. There were a large number of people who became sick, injured, or even suffered mental health effects because of the storm. Laura added to the complexity of COVID-19. Due to the debris and destruction caused by hurricanes, people flee to different states, which can mean the carrying of disease. Like the spreading of the Spanish flu, the same thing can happen with COVID-19. Laura ended up making a complicated time even more complicated. 8 of the 26 deaths in Louisiana were because of the heat. The power was out for an extended period of time, meaning the HVAC systems were also out. The houses were very hot, causing people to perish. Some people were hesitant to leave the state due to COVID-19, causing these awful ends.
Hurricane Laura tied the record of quickest to be named with Hurricane Luis in 1955. Laura was a wave that originated from the coast of West Africa, becoming a tropical storm a day later. Soon, it was a raging category 4 hurricane, destroying everything in its wake. Laura killed at least 23 people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and 26 in Louisiana, bringing the death total to 49. Early on August 27, Laura hit her peak in Cameron, Louisiana. She was the tenth-strongest U.S. hurricane landfall by wind speed on record.
Hurricane Sally was not as deadly, but she is believed to have claimed 8 lives. The number of sick, injured, and traumatized are higher. Sally started on September 10th, 2020 and it was first designated as a tropical storm, but later a Category 2 hurricane. Because it was slow-moving, Sally affected people in the same spot for a longer period of time than the average hurricane. Hurricanes can continue to affect pedestrians and states years after they occur due to destruction, but this hurricane hadn’t physically moved significantly for a whole month. From starting on the 10th to continuing to the 18th of September, it stayed in almost the exact same place – Florida. Many Floridians had to evacuate because of the hurricane, which also spreads the virus we are currently battling. Although Sally may not be nearly as strong as Laura was, she is traumatizing citizens even longer than Laura did.
The intermingling of two hurricanes and the virus had made the current state of the world even worse than it would’ve been. All people could do was hope no one else got killed because of Sally, whether it be during or after. With COVID-19 around, and on top of that, hurricanes, tropical storms, and tsunamis in the other part of the world, we remain wondering if life will ever go back to normal. We may not have a cure for COVID yet, but we can help those affected by the hurricanes. You can wear gloves and masks, and even hazmat suits if you like, but we need to do our part for the community, after several back-to-back destructions. We may not be able to prevent hurricanes or stop COVID just yet, but we can help and pray. After all, with COVID-19, all we can do is hope.