The Houston Chronicle reported today that Hurricane Katrina refugees at the overcrowded Reliant Astrodome were refusing to relocate to two Carnival Cruise Lines ships docked at Houston. As a result, FEMA officials decided to delay the relocation effort.
How do they decide who gets to go to the cruise ships? People over 60 get first dibs, followed by single parents with children, followed by two-parent families. The feds are making noise about setting up schools on board the ships, no doubt to indoctrinate the hapless children in compassionate conservatism.
But why wouldn’t folks prefer to move into a private stateroom, complete with bathroom and television, rather than stay at the noisy, crowded stadium shelter?
Some say it’s just too soon to uproot and relocate again, that they need to feel more settled before taking a next step. Others are weighing their options or trying to find missing relatives.
I have my own theory — I think that, as long as they are in a shelter, it’s a short-term situation, and there’s the sense that they will be going home sometime soon. The cruise ships, on the other hand, represent a long-term situation of perhaps six months, maybe more.
Like survivors of any life-threatening experience, I think many of those folks cannot or are not willing to admit that their situation is really as hopeless and as long-term as it truly is.