Monday, October 13, 2008

Suicidegate

When in SF, one has to do the SF thing and cross The Bridge. Which seems to mean venturing into a fog, no matter what time of the year, or what time of the day. The top pix shows the kind of weather we had the whole time we were in the city, and was taken from the viewpoint at one end of the bridge. The other pix show the bridge at more or less the same time.
Tell you, that fog is ... creepy.Note to self: next time, clean the windscreen first.
And today I read in the newspaper that the powers that be have just decided to spend $US 40 to 50 million on netting to stop suicides jumping off the Golden Gate - there were 39 confirmed suicides last year and possibly a whole lot more that slipped under the radar.

Sorry, but that seems a ridiculous waste of money to me. Most people who decide to take their lives are going to do it unless there is some kind of intervention, yes, - but intervention by way of a net at a particular site is not going to help. They will just go elsewhere. Are we so cynical that "as long as it doesn't happen on our turf" is what matters?

Spend the money on mental health by all means, but not on a static piece of netting. Come on.
San Francisco, can't you do better than that?

The last two photos show the bridge from a distance - taken from Coit Tower. Gives an idea of how that fog creeps up the bay and ignores the rest of the city...


4 comments:

Jo said...

I spent a week in SF in 1988 and didn't see one bit of fog. I was rather disappointed. I found that very odd. I love your photos, you could take that up as a trade if ever writing fails you.

I do agree that putting up netting rather than increasing health care for potential suicides is not the right way to go.

Joanna said...

When they were building the bridge, they had a net underneath to save falling workers. It was very successful, only failing once when a piece of heavy equipment fell first and tore the net.

I do agree about spending the money on mental health, but it looks better for the papers to string up a visible net... *will try not to be so cynical next time*

Joanna said...

BTW, thanks for visiting my blog (jo1967) today - I got a bit of a buzz when I realised who had stopped by *grin*.

hrugaar said...

I imagine netting might deter spur of the moment jumpers if they hadn't expected it to be there. But yes, once people know it's there, it seems likely that they'll just choose somewhere else ... or else throw themselves under the next truck driving across the bridge, bringing more distress to more people. :(

I checked my photos of the time we drove across the bridge. Cloud, fog.