The United Farm Workers report the second death this week from Heatstroke in California, the fourth in the last two weeks, aged from 64 to 17.
Heatstroke is preventable, but, by the time the victim shows symptoms, it is often a crisis, frequently fatal. The symptoms are easily distinguishable from the much more benign "Heat Exhaustion"; one victim is pale, grayish, the other is flushed and ruddy. Any civilized legal code will require that supervisors be able to recognize and deal with the difference. Regrettably, "civilized" does not describe those in charge of growing our nation's produce.
Many of the deceased leave dependent children, or, in one case, were children themselves. But they are Mexican migrants, not human beings, whom Godde made and loves. Their deaths are part of doing business, and there are many who will eagerly take their places, and not ask "Why is this position open?" The impetus for change has to come from elsewhere; neither bosses nor potential workers, for the most part, will do it. Legislators, and that means the public, must put a stop to what, in effect, is homicide. It is shameful to us all.
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