Sunday, August 29, 2010

Don't tell them

Chilean officials are offering lots of advice to help 33 miners trapped underground keep their health and sanity as they wait to be rescued. One thing they're not sharing with the men is their estimate that it could take four months to drill them out of an emergency shelter nearly half a mile below the surface. 

Following up on the Chilean miners' freedom story, I recently came across the above piece of information in the Times of India - the trapped Chilean miners have not been told that it could take four months to rescue them out of the mine. The Chilean government has taken this decision to keep up the morale of the trapped miners. 

One of the trapped miners through cable was heard saying, "We're hoping all of Chile makes an effort to get us out of here by the 18th" of September, Chile's Independence Day, which this year coincides with the bicentennial of the end of Spanish clonial rule"
The poor soul is unaware of how much time the rescue may take and hopes to be free in another month's time. 

I beg to differ with the Chilean government here, when they say it is helping them keep up their morale. I think it hampers the morale.This way, the miners wake up every morning hoping they'd see the sun that day and then go to sleep with that hope crushed every night. (The miners are not even sure when the day begins and when the night has come). 

Uncertainty kills hope. It is easier to cope when you know that the ordeal is going to be over in another week, another month or another year's time. You can live with the hope that you WILL be free then. But when you don't see a definite end in sight, you are pretty much lost in the mess. You start questioning if it's ever going to end...and a man can almost be driven to insanity this way.


  1. i would agree. a very short term approach used by the authorities. Telling them would shock them for once but then they would also prepare for it. But i think this is the tendency many people have. Haven't you heard people saying "bass 5 minute" when they are still an hour away?

  2. Ya, people often do that. But usually with kids? Coz they don't have a very developed discretion. For adults, I doubt it can work. Maybe for a short while, as you said. For, how long can you keep telling them that?

  3. you can't. as i said - its a short term approach used and its not good.

  4. The news is really hotch-potch about this as some sources say the miners have been told, some say they haven't, some say they have been given a rough idea that it may take months...not exactly 4 months. So, maybe the miners have been told now. Good to know.


Please leave your comment here