How long has it been since the world united in a global celebration? Well, it's been a long, long time. But yesterday the world watched and cheered as one by one the 33 men trapped for 69 days (70 for the last few) in that gold and copper mine in Chile were finally freed and, as near to literally as possible, brought back to life. Luis Urzua was the 33rd miner to travel from 2,000 feet below the surface in a capsule designed by the Chilean Navy. The entire rescue, once they started pulling the men to safety took right around 22 1/2 hours without a single mishap.
What a joyous outcome!
And what a testament to the human spirit that these men not only survived but appeared to be in pretty sound physical as well as mental health.
I was fascinated to hear about the many medical experts who had been working with the rescue crew to insure the best possible outcome. One detail that I found particularly interesting was that the extraction in the very capsule that was designed to save them, also presented a problem that could kill them: the possibility of the men fainting on the way up due to a drop in their blood pressure. When a person faints, it's because their blood pressure drops. So, you fall when you faint, right? It's nature's way of letting the blood pressure equalize and you wake back up.
Well, if one of those miners fainted on the 15 - 20 minute ride up out of that hole, there was no way for them to fall over in that tiny capsule. So the doctors had fed them a high salt diet for 5 days before the rescue started to increase their blood pressure, then each miner was given a pressurized garment to wear that was specifically designed to keep the blood out of the lower half of their body and in the upper half to avoid the possibility of fainting. Cool, huh? They thought of everything - including asking for and accepting help from any country who was willing to provide it. Of course the good old USA was there, as was South Africa, Canada, and a host of others.
These men will all have psychological issues to work through over time, but who, among all of us watching, had even given them a chance of coming out alive? It truly was a miracle and a reason for celebration.
Did you all watch? And besides the human drama, which is just incredible, did anything else strike you as particularly interesting? And other than the first moon landing, can you think of any other event in recent history that galvanized the world in the way the plight of these lost souls, now saved souls has?