Living in a community that offers all the amenities can be very beneficial to families. It allows them to live life in the comfort of their own neighborhood with the neighbors they know. Those types of neighborhoods also seem to offer a bit more safety and protection as well. Sometimes though we can’t protect against everything and human error takes place that can cause harm to others. If a mistake was made in a community development that has caused some children and adults to get sick, there can be a lot of possibilities as to how they got sick.
The tough part in determining what could be causing the sickness is that so many factors are involved. Is it a fluke that people are getting sick or was it an accident on someone’s part? When asking questions you need to consider that we have no idea of whom or what is causing the sicknesses. Some questions that I would ask would be what type of symptoms do the sick children and adults have? Have doctors been able to diagnose them? If so, what can cause that kind of illness/virus/disease? How long have you had the symptoms? Have mold, water, soil, and air quality tests been done inside and outside of the houses of the sick?
Do the sick have certain allergies that need to be considered? Have the sick children and adults been diagnosed with disease’s or illnesses in the past? Do the sick children and adults have frequent contact with each other? Has the company that developed the neighborhood had any issue of this sort of problem in the past? Is there anyone in the community that may have a grudge against the sick or their families? Many questions can be asked but you have to take into consideration that it could be a person who is already in the community that could be causing people to get sick.
Maybe it was an underlying issue that stems back from when the community was being built and it something the developers have done by mistake. People that I would talk to when investigating the issue would start with the sick individuals to get an idea of what may be in common among them. I would also talk to the developers of the community to see if they have had any complaints or can offer up some suggestions to the products they used in the production of the community. I would also want to talk to neighbors or communities outside of the one with the sick people. Maybe they have xperienced something somewhat like the sick have or can offer up any information. Next, I would also want to talk to the land owner who owned the land before it was developed. They may be able to offer some insight on what the property was before it was built on. There could be underlying issues that the development may have been trying to hide. The city in which the community is in is another good contact to talk to about this issue. They keep records on land surveys and any tests done. Talking to the doctors of the sick would be another one that could offer information.
HIPAA won’t allow information on the sick patients but the doctors may be able to offer information on the whole picture of what is going on. The type of research that I would first conduct in this situation is to research the symptoms or diseases the people have or have been diagnosed with. This can open up other questions or contacts you may want to consider. I would also research the property before it was developed. A local library and city hall can offer up great tools for free that can help in the research. I would also want to research if soil, water, air, or mold tests were done at any point in time in that community.
Research would need to be done on the types of materials that were used when building the housing, landscaping, roads, and irrigation systems. That as well can open up more points of contacts to talk to because of the companies they came from. I would also want to research the company that developed the community. Checking the better business bureau or the secretary of the state in which you live can tell you if there are any outstanding legal issues with that company. This situation requires a great amount of critical thinking because there are so many things that need to be considered.
There are plenty of obstacles that can get in the way. In order for me to overcome the obstacles of critical thinking, I would need to be aware of them. I need to acknowledge the challenges that I might come across. Once I have identified and acknowledged the obstacles, then I can formulate a plan to overcome them to the best of my abilities. I need to put all stereotypes aside so I don’t judge without any proof. I need to ignore any biases that I have because that can only cloud my brain and close it off to other possibilities. If I ere actually investigating this problem some of the strategies I would put in place to help foster my critical thinking skills would be first to redefine the way I see things. In a situation where so many people are involved, you never know who could be the one hurting others. Sometimes it’s the person you least expect. Another strategy I would have applied is to stay in touch with my emotions. There are sick kids involved and even adults who are going through a hard rough time and the last thing they need it me getting all emotional with them.
There is a right and a wrong time to cry with them. So keeping me emotions in control is important. Also, I need to use the reshape my character strategy to connect with the different kinds of personalities and people I would be working with while investigating the problem. One of the assumptions that I had to be aware of is the assumption that the idea is clear to me as well as others. I may have more points and information that people may not know about so when I come up with ideas, others may not have the same information to go off of.
A problem like this leaves room for a lot of opinions that may leave some not seeing eye-to-eye. Another assumption I would consider is that people who stand to benefit most from my ideas will accept it automatically without persuasion on my part. Devastating a community with illnesses can scare people and they may agree with me to get it done and over with. Others may agree instantly for the dollar signs when they sue whoever caused this problem to happen. This type of situation can be a difficult one to investigate and unfortunately this problem has happened.
The movie Erin Brochovich was based on somewhat of the same situation but it was an entire town that was being poisoned for a long time that caused many fatal diseases and illnesses. Investigating this problem would require a lot of time and an open mind for all the possibilities that could come up. I think of the saying, “You are innocent until proven guilty”. You have to consider everyone in this situation until you can rule them out for being the cause. A sharp mind and a keen eye for detail would be an excellent quality along with strong critical thinking skills to get to the bottom of this problem.