My dad said I would see some terrible sights if I became a paramedic. He should know he used to drive ambulances in Northern Ireland during The Troubles. And he was right. The things I saw, the things that can happen to the human body, are beyond words. Beyond comprehension.
The carnage is timeless but not the changes in people’s behaviour. Some things have stayed the same. You can always find the accident spot. Night or day, there will be a ring of people standing around the wrecked car or the wino lying unconscious on the pavement. When a crowd gathers, you know something bad has happened or is about to.
But now, people don’t stand around looking helpless. They whip out their mobile phones and capture the dying moments of strangers for posterity. What is wrong with these people? And their anger when I push them out of my way to get to the casualty. Do mobiles emit poisonous waves that damage the neurons and send the wrong signals?
It’s a lovely thought that if, rather than rushing to your aid, these fine folk will film you. Not everyone, those with a remnant of human dignity among the bystanders, will be just as fast to the scene ready to help, struggling through the crowd taking photos. These idiots don’t care about your life or your right to dignity. A picture no longer tells a thousand words: it gets a thousand likes.