I was standing in the hospital pre-op area today when I read the news on my cell phone. At first I was confused, not understanding if this was a cruel prank gone wrong. How could such a joyous event celebrating the strength and resilience of the human body be turned into such a horrific bloodbath? As I went through my text messages and then news articles, I felt my stomach turn. This was a deliberate, calculated attempt to inflict the most harm when the masses expect it the least. A potential terrorist attack.
I got almost all of my information online – Twitter, Facebook to get news about my friends in Boston, NYTimes and other news sources for updated info. Just doing a quick search through Twitter showed the huge response that was generated in a matter of hours; from Google Person Finder to President Obama, every Tweet illustrated the collaborative effort of social media being used for the greater good in a time of chaos.
I put together a stream of Tweets showing different sides of the story here: http://storify.com/TeawithMD/boston-marathon-tragedy-shocks-the-us# The tweet about Marathon runners crossing the finish line and running straight to the hospital to donate blood to victims demonstrated what I think is the true meaning of the race – to work together as a community, to lift one another up in moments of great stress, and to help each other overcome the odds.
The physicians at Massachusetts General, Tufts, BU, and surrounding hospitals must be working overtime today and with such heavy hearts as they treat the victims of the attack. I truly salute them and wish only that I could somehow be there helping out in any way I can. My prayers go out to all the families who have been affected by today’s events.