Miners are a special breed, but still …

By now you’ve probably heard about those 33 Chilean miners who are trapped underground in a 530 sq. ft. (approx. 23′ x 23′) chamber. After 17 days, a 6″ hole was finally drilled through to them and they can now receive some food and water and communicate back and forth. But the reports say it could be 4 months before they get out!

I cannot imagine what that would be like. Trapped. In the dark. Crowded. Not quite as crowded as I’d imagined, thanks to a CNN demonstration with 33 people standing in a roped-off square, but still, extremely crowded. It looked like maybe a third of the people could lie down to sleep if the other two-thirds stood or sat like sardines.

Officials haven’t told the miners how long they will be trapped and are carefully considering the wisest way to do that — including consulting with submariners, astronauts, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Activities are being planned to help preserve the miners’ mental and physical well-being.

Personally, I’m a bit claustrophobic, particularly in underground or underwater spaces. I also need my personal space and lots of solitude. I need my creature comforts. I need uninterrupted sleep. And a one-hour power outage just last week showed me how utterly void an hour awake in pitch blackness can be.

Humans have proved to be remarkably resilient in unbelievably difficult conditions. But these miners … I don’t know. I doubt I’d come out of that mine alive. Or if alive, no longer sane.

It’s a beautiful sunny day; I think I’ll go for walk.

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