I don’t know any of the miners in Chile. I’ve never even been to Chile. But I found it hard to not be moved by the sight of them starting to arrive back at ground level once the rescue operation started today.
It’s an amazing rescue story that was led from the top of government, almost as a mission to restore national pride. Chile was never known for mine safety and these miners are incredibly lucky to not have been crushed or suffocated by the inital collapse on August 5th.
But I’m wondering what will happen now? These are fairly poor working-class men. How will they cope with the psychological trauma freedom is going to cause? Soon they will realise that they should have been dead. Many of them will start to question why they are alive, or will reappraise the life that they have. Not only will they need to readjust to normal family life after two months of fighting off the possibility of death each day, but they will now have the media of the world treating them as celebrities.
Who will be the first miner on the Oprah show? And which Hollywood script-writer might have already started dramatising the rescue? Will the money from all these ventures be shared fairly or will a few of the miners seek to grab all the attention?
It’s a great thing to see them rescued, but they might have just left the frying pan and jumped into the fire of the media.