33 miners, 69 days. The San José mine has been the focus of a global news story for over two months. But what about the miners? For this week's podcastsinenglish.com we're looking at the physical and mental consequences of that event.
Richard: 33 miners, 69 days. The San José mine has been the focus of a global news story for over two months. But what about the miners? For this week's podcastsinenglish.com we're looking at the physical and mental consequences of that event.
Jackie: Yes. If we start with the… I mean a horrific experience Richard, if we look at the physical consequences to start with, well I suppose the main thing is they've had no sun, have they?
Richard: Yes. You need sunlight because that um… manufactures vitamin D. And if you don't have vitamin D you get rickets which is a bone disease.
Jackie: Right. Yes they often call vitamin D the sunshine vitamin, don't they?
Richard: Exactly. So they're going to have a problem there I would have thought. Also being stuck in one place, not being able to move around, muscle problems.
Jackie: Although they were doing exercise down there, Richard, because they were actually in a big space so they were… some of them were running a number of kilometres every day.
Richard: Oh, really?
Richard: Oh wow
Jackie: Yeah. But also one of the um… strong images of the miners coming up is them wearing their sunglasses.
Richard: Ah, of course. Yes. And they’re still wearing them for a long time after they came out, a lot of effects on their eyes.
Jackie: Hmm. But maybe um… the… the biggest long-term threat to them is… is their psychological welfare.
Richard: Yes. Oh actually, psychological and physical. I believe NASA helped the miners, or the company at the time, didn’t they, because one of the similarities between being stuck in a mine for so long is what happens to astronauts. When they go into space for long periods of time, they are confined, aren't they?
Jackie: Yes, absolutely. I mean to me that's a complete nightmare to be stuck with the same group of people day in and day out in a small space.
Richard: Well, you say an absolute nightmare. They do have er… or the psychologists are expecting them to have, obviously these sorts of mental issues.
Jackie: Yes, actually um… nightmares are one of the symptoms of Post Traumatic er… Stress Disorder along with flashbacks er… memory loss, anger, tearfulness, avoiding people and also getting back into the routine of family life.
Richard: Yes, it seems a bit strange now because everybody is euphoric at the moment, aren't they, so that's going to be a bit of a difference. They’re all stars, aren't they, in their communities so they are so, so, so happy, and getting back to normal life is going to be a challenge.
Jackie: Yes. I mean, they were just normal blokes with er… with their families and suddenly they become stars. I think, I'm wondering whether... obviously it won't be nearly as bad as being down a mine for 69 days, but I wouldn't be surprised if there is some stress facing them in the future as a result of what happened as well.
Richard: Yes, because they’re being called heroes. Everyone thinks they’re heroes but in actual fact they haven't actually done anything.
Jackie: No, no. So um… well done for getting out of the mine but we hope that um… it's not going to be er… a trauma for them in the future as well.
Richard: Exactly. And maybe even it could be of benefit to them and their communities in the long term.
Jackie: We'll see.