When a major disaster like Hurricane Katrina strikes, my inclination is to immerse myself in news media. But the sheer incompetence of the Bush administration’s response, combined with the unrelenting awfulness of live news coming from New Orleans makes it impossible to comprehend the overwhelming scope of the disaster.
And then one Associated Press stringer, Mary Foster, writes a couple of sentences that bring the whole thing into focus, putting a human face on these people who have had everything they own stripped away. As refugees boarded buses to evacuate them from the Superdome, Foster observed:
Pets were not allowed on the bus, and when a police officer confiscated a little boy’s dog, the child cried until he vomited. “Snowball, snowball,” he cried.