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A chilling scene for Syrian refugees

Date published: 12/1/2013

A chilling scene for Syrian refugees

I've been giving more thought to Syria lately, since a UNICEF email reminded me that the chill in the air (which I've been bundling up against) will also be blanketing refugee camps to which Syrians are fleeing. (A $10 donation gives one child a year of clean water and two pairs of gloves.)

Half of the 2 million people who are now Syrian refugees are children; this means a million kids could be cold, without clean water, among crowds of unvaccinated people, and without school in an unstable environment.

That hits home when I imagine myself or my favorite kids in that. After imagining myself there, I wondered, what if Syria were here? What would the situation look and feel like if it were here?

Virginia, West Virginia and Delaware cover almost as much land as Syria, and you could throw in D.C., too. However, you'd have to double the combined number of people to equal the Syrian population. If we'd had as many people leave that combined area as Syria has over the past two years, West Virginia would be completely empty.

If our area started leaving at the rate people were leaving Syria as of September--the U.N. estimates about 5,000 cross the border each day--all of Stafford County would be gone in a month, and all of Spotsylvania and King George would be gone by the next month. Fredericksburg would be empty within a week. Half of Virginia would be "refugees" from a less-safe area within its border.

What a picture! I'm glad I'm at least able to add some gloves and clean water to it.

Kristin Morris