Two Sides of Hurricane Sandy Suffering: Weight Gain vs. Reality

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Overweight Man on Scale --- Image by © Tom Grill/Corbis Photo: Tom Grill/© Corbis. All Rights Reserved.

In the "Style" section of the New York Times today, a week-old hashtag joke becomes an entire article: People cooped up during Hurricane Sandy feel like they may have gained some weight from eating a lot of junk food and not moving much — instead of the Bud-heavy and college-meal-plan-induced "freshman fifteen," it's the "Sandy Five." Thinking too hard about the privilege implicit in such an anthropological zoom-in threatens to suck all the fun from the absurd premise, but it is acknowledged briefly: "A tightening of the waistband hardly counts as a crisis in a region where so many have endured actual devastation." But the dozens of lines surrounding that ass-covering say otherwise, and so in the spirit of "too soon," we've coupled the piece's most frivolous moments with a more sobering account of the hurricane fall-out from the Daily News. Think of it as a reality check, or a palate cleanser.

“I can’t even talk about it — my jeans do not button,” said Emily Marnell, 31, a publicist who cited both boredom and anxiety as a reason she fell victim to odd, middle-school-kid cravings for junk food after her Gramercy Park apartment went dark.

“I went through Duane Reade and was grabbing Double Stuf Oreos, whole milk, Twix, Twizzlers, Sour Patch Kids,” she recalled in horror.

Versus:

Living high above the city, they survive without running water, and with toilets that don’t flush, refrigerators that don’t function and heat that seems to diminish each day as temperatures dip.

Reyes, who weighs 350 pounds, has osteoporosis and a weakened ankle from surgery that won’t allow him to schlep up and down 13 stories.

Again, from the Times:

“Waiting for the storm seemed to make everyone want to do three things: watch ‘Homeland,’ eat and tweet,” Ms. Lavinthal said. “Once the power went out downtown, the only thing left to do was eat — and eat.”

And the Daily News:

“I’m knowing about the outside world with this little transistor radio – battery operated, old school,” he says. In the dark at night, “I listen to 1010 WINS, cuddle up with the wife, reminisce about the old days.

Times:

Suddenly, the svelte editor was gorging like Falstaff, whipping up (on her gas range) five-egg omelet breakfasts or roast-chicken-with-every-vegetable-in-the-crisper dinners.

Daily News:

In a 10th-floor apartment at Gowanus, Daisy Torres needs an electronically powered respirator to help her breathe. Without power for the last eight days, “It’s been terrible.”

Times:

“I have never eaten more fries in my life than I have during this week. It was every day.”

Daily News:

“I feel liked we’re trapped in here,” she said. “We can’t do anything.”

It's the best of both worlds.