DISCLAIMER FROM THE TRANSLATOR: While I speak both English and Japanese fluently, I know nothing about medicine. These are rough translations made through tears (i.e., sometimes while bawling). Please take all medical details in particular with a grain of salt. These translations have not been proofread and will be revised on a later date.

Please note that I am NOT in contact with the original author, who has given general permission for translation in one of her entries.

I would appreciate it if everyone can refrain from posting these entries elsewhere and to share this address <http://jkts-english.blogspot.com> instead, as I will be making revisions to each entry directly (addresses for individual entries may change if I revise their titles).



Start reading here: 1) To the affected areas.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

6) Lifelines and bonds

March 18, nighttime

There is a time limit, but the gymnasium operating as an evacuation site has electricity once again!!

The moment the lights came on, the whole gymnasium was full of applause and we all cried tears of joy.

Thanks to the conservation of electricity in other parts of the country, it recovered sooner than expected. I was really, really happy to hear this. The kindness of others really came across.

When I arrived in the affected area, there was snow on the ground and people were mumbling,
"Snow at a time like this—there is no god here any more."

I felt confident in thinking that there may be no god, but there are living human beings with kindness in their hearts, plenty of them, too!! But the real difficulty is still ahead of us. I can only wish that this kindness will continue to spread across the entire nation.

There is no gas or kerosene and it is still cold, but I kind of felt warmer just from the sight of the lights being on at night.

March 18, afternoon

At 2:46PM, the hour when the earthquake struck, I paused to spend a moment in silence. A siren rang through the air, and as I saw the tears on the people's faces, I felt that the week had gone by very quickly.

Since one week had passed, there have been more and more scenes where I feel that support in the form of mental care is also necessary.

The number of patients being brought in by ambulance and disaster victims requiring hospitalization is only increasing. At the same time, the ambulances are running out of fuel and hospital beds are full everywhere. Medical supplies are running short, and new problems are abound. I felt overwhelmed so many times. Each time I was faced with these problems, I felt discouraged but my will is standing strong.

Not only did I need to see ambulance patients, I also needed to measure the blood pressure and offer health consultations in the evacuation sites, look after hospitalized patients in order to have the nurses there get some rest, walk up and down the stairs of a five-story building to distribute meals because the elevators are not working, if I have any free time at all I would build a fire and boil some water—twenty-four hours were not enough in each day.

Even when I had two hours to sleep, I would lay there in the dark, thinking about whether there's any way to use this time effectively. The only thing I could think of was to record and report this situation as I am doing now.

All it is is that the electricity is back, but when I think of all the people who conserved electricity, it feels like the electricity was generated by a bond between the people, making each lightbulb look very bright and warm.

When everyone's effort takes shape in a visible form like this, it makes me feel like I've been pushed forward to work harder than ever before.

Next entry: 7) Luna

Translated March 27.
Original entry in Japanese: 6、ライフラインと絆

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