“Disaster-relief operations tend to follow a standard triage. The thirsty receive water, the injured receive medical attention, the homeless receive shelter. And the neediest among them — the most injured, the most bereft — are relatively easy to pick out and prioritize. Psychological damage is harder to see. It can gestate for days or weeks or months before symptoms begin to show. By then the aid workers have usually left, and the emergency crews have moved on. In the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event, it would be helpful to know which survivors are most likely — for social or biological or circumstantial reasons — to develop psychological problems, so that they can be provided with the necessary resources. For now, though, that knowledge doesn’t really exist. What does something like Hurricane Maria actually do to a community, beyond the initial, obvious physical effects?
As it turns out, one of the best places to begin looking for answers may be a small, strange island full of monkeys.” Please give a read to this fascinating dispatch by Luke Dittrich - a pointed effort to understand a research station in Puerto Rico and also how trauma changes all of us.
Thanks so much to director of photography of @nytmag @kathyryan, for the great, challenging, adorable, and occasionally terrifying assignment, and to amazing editors Jessica Tang, @handheldproductions and @kristen.geisler. I’ll post a few more outtakes here in the coming days, and link in my bio.