The total number of victims of the Boston Marathon bombing will never be known. I’m not referring to the fatalities, sadly they are painfully evident: three at the actual finish line bombing site and one afterward during the chase and manhunt for the suspects.
Even those who were seriously wounded by the explosions and had to receive medical treatment and in many cases undergo surgery in the immediate aftermath can be accounted for.
What I’m talking about is the ripple effect these bombings will have on those in attendance and beyond. Concentric rings of misery spreading over time.
The number of documented injured actually jumped dramatically a few days after the bombing as people who may have thought they had a minor condition that would go away by itself with time,such as a ringing in the ears, decided they better have it looked at by a doctor.
What I’m talking about is the ripple effect these bombings will have on those in attendance and beyond.
When I say the actual number of those touched by the heinous and cowardly attack on Patriot’s Day in Boston may never be known I am referring to what some may call collateral or tertiary harm. I don’t think we’ll ever know how many people who were in the Boylston Street area when the bombs went off will suffer permanent hearing damage. I recall reading an article many years ago about the collateral effects of urban bombings in Ireland and England during The Troubles. The same effects will be felt by people in the Boston attack.
Another ring in the ripple of effect is psychological (I’m no psychologist, but I don’t think you have to be B. F. Skinner to understand). How many people will forever be afraid to attend public events, sporting events, any kind of gathering of people? How many will struggle with nervous problems and PTSD as a result of a close call? How many will feel survivor guilt?
The damage caused by the Boston bombers, in fact by all terrorists, spreads like a disease after the fact.
This ripple extends yet again beyond the people actually in the vicinity of the explosions to the members of their families. How many parents will be on pins and needles every time their child, even adult children, attend a gathering?
The damage caused by the Boston bombers, in fact by all terrorists, spreads like a disease after the fact. Once the media attention has switched to something else, and Boston gets caught-up in the things that make it a great city, there will still be those nameless victims who will fight the effects daily for years to come. Perhaps forever.