Evacushaming. It’s a real thing. I know, you’re like Amy, what in the heck are you talking about. Recently, I have seen a lot of posts related to mom-shaming. Where people on the internet become bullies post hateful things, boasting their opinions on how other mothers should parent. For example, controversial subjects like breastfeeding in public, discipline, and etc. Well, here we go again. Only this time, I’m seeing all kinds of shaming on the internet related to evacuating for Hurricane Matthew. I can’t even wrap my head around it, but here you have it.
If only I could bottle up the posts I have seen from many on social media outlets in the past few days. Here are a few examples:
- “People, calm down. The hurricane is only a category 2 and likely going to skirt by. You’ll lose power for a minute and have a little wind. That’s it, so stop acting like the crazies and just hunker down.”
- “I can’t believe how many people are staying in their homes, do they have to prove they are super hero or a survivalist? They’re risking their lives and their children’s lives, #smh.”
How about this one:
- “I hope those people staying get washed away to sea, that will teach them a lesson.”
Or even this:
- “Ha! You crazy people rushing out of town. While you sit on the interstate for hours, we will be watching you on TV and I hope it takes you hours to get back into town. Maybe next time you won’t give into the hype.”
I am a member of a lot of the neighborhood and mom pages on Facebook and I can’t make this stuff up. People, what happened to respect and loving your neighbor? If your neighbor wants to get out of town, that’s their choice. If they stay, also their choice. You opinion does not matter in this situation so stop posting on social media and for the love of goodness, stop shaming those folks.
If your neighbor is heading out of town, watch their toddler while they pack up their belongings. Help them bring in their porch items and secure their home. Watch out for their home while they’re gone. If your neighbor stays, help make sure they have essential items before you leave. Give them an extra case of water and help make sure they have everything they need when you leave. Call or text frequently to check on them.
Stop shaming and just help each other out. Everyone has their reasons. For example, in our family, my dogs freak out in a thunderstorm. I freak out in a storm. I’m petrified of storms and lie awake at night checking the radar and pray a tornado is not headed our way. So am I going to stay put for a possibly hurricane? Heck no. Not my thing. On the flip side, my friend LOVES thunderstorms. Loves the thrill of a storm. So she is staying. My other friend has a child with medical needs and moving him in a car for 10 ours can actually put him at more risk than staying put with their generators. Some can’t find a hotel that allows pets. Hotels are price gouging. Gas is hard to find. Some love their homes and feel like staying. That’s their choice.
- “You should have prepared like the rest of us.”
- “Were you not watching the weather forecast?”
- “Serves you right.”
So much hate in all of those words. How about trying this:
- “Can I take your car and get gas for you, while you pack or board your windows?”
- “I have an extra loaf of bread I can share.”
I felt lead to share this with all of you, in hopes that you will stop shaming others for their decisions. While I have seen a lot of amazing and positive posts, I have also seen a lot of negative posts. We are all adults here and we are the facts and given our right to make a decisions. If you ask me for my opinion, I’ll give it to you. But I’m not going to shame you for your decision, or have ill wishes for your decisions. Stop “evacu-shaming” people. It’s just not right.
I feel like our government has done an amazing job at notifying the public of the upcoming risks. I also feel for families that are torn apart, as emergency workers must stay and their families go. Also military that is ordered to leave. There are so many circumstances surrounding every decision. Prayers to everyone that has been in the path of the storm, prayers for loved ones who are worried for their families, and prayers for human kind. Reach down in your heart and simply love your neighbor.