First Official Day Of Marian Days Includes Pilgrims On A Different Type Of Journey
Marian Days has officially begun, and some visitors to this Vietnamese Roman Catholic festival have already been suffering from the extreme heat.
“Yes, it’s extremely hot out,” says Carthage Police Chief Greg Dagnan.
Man cannot live by bread alone.
“You see a lot of generators, a lot of AC units, a lot of fans,” says Dagnan.
Water, and lots of it, becomes essential.
“From the first moment I came in yesterday,” explains Doctor Son Le from Illinois, “I haven’t really counted, but it has been constant.”
Le has been working in the first aid building at Marian Days since one-day before the event officially kicked-off. He says most of his patients have been suffering from heat related illnesses, even before they arrived at this festival.
“One person who I saw today drove from last evening from Denver. He didn’t stop. He didn’t want to stop to drink or use the bathroom. So he got here light headed, dizzy,” says Le.
Travels aside, the constant sun is still taking a toll.
“We’ve had a few of our officers who we’ve said, get in there (air conditioned trailer), take your vest off, we’re going to shove a lot of water down your throat,” says Dagnan.
Dagnan says heat stroke is a big worry at Marian Days.
“In the past, we’ve also had at least one heat related death out here,” says Dagnan.
Police and doctors expect the number of heat related illnesses to increase this year at Marian Days as the celebration fully gets underway. So pilgrims at Marian Days continue on a different journey, towards where ever there’s shade, ice, and water.
Doctor Le is, in a way, telling people to cast their worries upon him.
“It’s a reassurance for a lot of people,” says Le.
He’ll be there for care.
The doctors and nurses at the first aid station are volunteers, and try to do what they can to help people. That includes putting-in IV’s to help people rehydrate.