February 12th, 2010
12:06 PM ET

It's been one month, but here it feels much longer

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/12/t1.haiti.one.month.jpg caption="Tens of thousands of Haitians gather at the city center to remember those lost." width=300 height=169]

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor

It's been one month.

"Is it better?" That's what most people ask, and of course, it is. It's not good though, by any stretch of the imagination, it's not acceptable even, but it is technically better. That's not saying much though. It could not have gotten any worse.

A lot of people who haven't been here probably think what happened is old news. I know people aren't as interested in hearing about it as much anymore. That always happens, but it's hard to accept. Haitians, of course, are used to it. They are used to people losing interest in their plight, this time they had hoped it would be different.

It may feel like this is a month-old tragedy, but here, on the ground, each day, it feels brand new: new struggles, new setbacks, new deaths, new horrors.

Charlie, my producer, and Neil, my cameraman, and I have been here three weeks out of the four. The week I was gone, all I wanted to do was get back here. Here nothing is wasted. Nothing is fake. People look each other in the eye. They clasp your hand hard. Everything has been stripped away, gutted.

I've started to pay attention to things no one wants to hear about. I saw a puddle of dried liquid on a concrete slab, and a small mound of human hair. It was all that was left of someone. There are packs of dogs that roam the streets at night. People say they've seen them feed on corpses. You hear them barking, growling deep, fighting each other in the darkness.

I see the good things here too: The love families have for one another, the strong faith, the resilience of people, but it's impossible to ignore that Port-au-Prince is still a graveyard. How many more dead are still buried in its rubble?

I find myself crying at odd times. I'll be walking up a flight of stairs and suddenly realize there are tears in my eyes. I was speaking to someone I hadn't seen in a while and my voice cracked, my throat tightened, I can't even remember what I was talking about. It happens to everyone, I think.

For the rest of the world its been one month. Here, on the ground, it feels much longer. The clocks have stopped. The earth no longer spins. This place, these people, are once again forced to begin again.

Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Haiti Earthquake • Opinion
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. blondyne

    thank you so much...some people may forget but this tragic day will forever stay in my memories because every night i woke up from this 35seconds nightmare so much that i am afraid to sleep at night each time i close my eyes i see these horrible images. thank you for your effort and dedication to my haitian brothers and sisters

    February 12, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  2. Banaly Blaise

    Thanks Anderson,
    The haitian community truly appreciates and admires the work that you and the whole CNN crew is doing for the Haitian people. I'm a Haitian-American who is also deeply moved. We see that you genuinely have passion for humanity.

    We're praying for everyone who's on the ground in Haiti.
    May God send blessings your way.

    February 12, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  3. ojcharles

    Thank you so much Anderson for not following the crowd. We appreciate you for returning to Haiti (Ayiti). This is my homeland and when I saw the pictures, they were unbelievable. Everyone, please know even through we see pictures and video, the magnitude is FAR GREATER than words can ever express.

    This is why I believe that Anderson Cooper and CNN deserve an award for their amazing reporting and tenacity to stick to this story. The thanks in my heart to all of you are beyond words.

    February 12, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  4. Martine

    Thank you so much for caring Cooper, may God bless you.

    February 12, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  5. Lisa Marien

    Thank you so much for your continued coverage on the situation in Haiti. With the worldwide recession upon us, we sometimes forget how fortunate we are. The people of Haiti have had to endure tremendous hardship....the stuff that puts our "hardships" to shame. So for all the underpaid, unemployed, out of work Americans, when you lay your head down tonight with a full belly, remember how blessed you truely are !

    February 12, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  6. Shamis

    Anderson, Keep up the good work and god bless you!!!!!!

    February 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  7. Beatrice, NY

    Thank you Anderson for going back, i think you said it right there is no normacy in life in Haiti. Most of the news crew left Haiti, people donated as much as they can but the sorrow and the pain remain for the haitian people. I cried today because i had a flashback of that day where i thought i lost my husband, sibblings and family. I am so greatful of all the help and generosity from around the world, but to the haitian people it's a scar that will take time to heel. CNN have been so helpful to haiti and you You put your life at risq to help that young man that day. I pray that god bless You, Dr. Gupta and the rest of the crew. God bless you all. Every time i see your report about Haiti i get a sense of hope, you want to remind the world that there is hope for Haiti and it's people, you open up people's eyes and mind. I am praying that President Clinton will be well. Even in his own problem he never stop thinking about Haiti. ( thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    February 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  8. anjasarushka

    You are my real inspiration and you made me cry. Thank you for being so honest! Your work goes behind the simple report and shows not only professionalism but a great will to build bridges and relationships between all human beings, which might not otherwise be possible.

    February 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  9. Marco

    Anderson Cooper, thank you for all you did and you continue to do for the haitian people in their difficult time. May God Bless you , Brother.


    February 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  10. Regine

    Anderson, I thank you for your dedication to the plight of my people. Though, I am living here in the states, and have not suffered personally from this tragedy, my heart still bleeds for my people. Sleep is hard to come and waking hours feel like a nightmare from which I can’t escape. Truth be told I think I need a shrink. I want to scream, I want to yell, I want to do something but I am stuck here… If ever a place has the ability to break someone’s heart, Haiti is that place. Like many people of my generation, my social awareness was awaken by the departure of Baby Doc. Up to that point people of my class were not aware that Haiti was the poorest country in this hemisphere. But from that moment on we started to hope for a new beginning. However time and time again our dreams and hope were killed. I have cried so many times over a better Haiti, over being able to go back and live there or at least visit peacefully, how I have long for the sand, the sea, the trees, the sun… But, I must admit that today contrary to my fellow Haitians, I have lost hope. At this particular moment in time when life itself is a challenge, we need a strong leader and we have none. No one with half a brain believes that this Haitian government is capable of leading the country to safe port and the unwillingness of the internal community to admit it is actually causing more harm to the country. So today I admit defeat, I must pull myself together even if I do not yet know how. I would suggest that you do not get too attached because you will break your heart multiple times over. It is impossible to stop caring but detachment it is a matter of survival. Tomorrow I may hope again but for today like Haiti I am in the dark.

    Thank you to you and Dr Gupta. May God bless you both.

    February 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  11. Shamis

    Anderson Cooper Thank you so much for what you are in Haiti. I am from Somalia and can related happening over there. Keep up the good work as you always do. God Bless you.

    February 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  12. pat

    At the risk of sounding redundant, I .say thank you to Anderson, Dr. Gupta, and the cnn crew. You guys are amazing! (no tears, happy thoughts)...

    February 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  13. Gerrie

    Thank you... that's all I can say

    February 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  14. Holiday & Adam

    To the people of Haiti, please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Anderson & crew, thank you for helping us all stay connected.

    February 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  15. Fay-CA

    Anderson, your reporting has really brought home the pain, loss, struggles and strength of the Haitian people and your commitment and determination to keep this story alive for the people there and your viewers is remarkable and much appreciated.

    February 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  16. lyndia

    Thank you for such wonderful work you have been doing in Haiti. I know it's very hard for someone who is in the Haiti to not be emotional. For my self I did not know that something terrible like that could happen in any country. It is so heart breaking to sit in front of my TV and wach CNN and see whats going on over there.

    February 12, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
  17. sabine pierre

    Its great to see u have not forgotten about my haotian people trying to help shed light to the world that haiti is a nation in need of help! Your a great person with a humongous heart! And for that I will be voice it for the haitian people we love and greatly appreciate you!

    February 12, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
  18. Ava Sawyer

    Anderson , you paint such a vivid picture of the reality of life in Haiti and I thank you for that, the world needs to keep the Haitians in their hearts and minds.

    February 12, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  19. Rachelle

    Thank for reporting from Haiti again, even though it was just for one more week. I can only see the horror through TV and I cry; I can understand your tears. Thank you again AC, Dr. Sanjay, Karl and the rest of the crew. God bless you all.

    February 12, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  20. Daniel

    GREAT article Anderson. You are the best. Thanks for caring enough to share this tragedy with the rest of the world.

    February 12, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
  21. Janice Connelly Ocala,Florida

    WOW...very moving..needs to be placed where more people can see it..it will move them enough to care again..

    February 12, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
  22. tobewoodyb

    just reading your blog make me want to cry

    February 12, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  23. Georges Carlos

    Thank you for this remarkable piece, i hope you keep informing us on what's goin on down there. it's remarkable what you've been doing down there. My family and i are praying for your safety and your well being. Keep informing us.

    February 12, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  24. Molly

    Thank you for the work you do.

    February 12, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
  25. Avril Lobo

    The thing that has touched me most about Haiti is the faith of its people. While I'd like to believe Im deeply spiritual & grounded in my faith, some of the heartbreaking scenes have left me shaken on more than one occasion. That said, the faith & the resilience of the Haitians has deepened my resolve to keep trusting & keep believing. Sure, its not normal, and it is not easy to be strong. But in faith, we find the strength to carry on. Hang in there Anderson, may you be blessed with the strength to show up & show us what is! Stay safe, stay strong.

    February 12, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
  26. Laura

    God will surely bless you.
    You have the sensitivity, empathy, love for other human beings that the world needs. I may not have gone to help in Haiti but I have been tranfixed by the catastrophic events that have happened to these innocent souls. I am a physician doing my training here in pittsburgh but I feel like I could do so much more. when the devastation happened, I wanted to leave everything and help these people. However, I am just one person with a small dream and no resources. You are our eyes, ears out there. You mirror our thoughts, prayers and dreams for the haitians. May God bless you and the work you are doing. Only one in the midst of such calamity can comprehend the eeriness of what is happening. Please keep reporting as we are all still praying for the people of Haiti. May God be with you.

    February 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
  27. Kristin Niles

    Anderson, you will deny it but I think, to the people of Haiti, and I know to me, you are truly a hero. You are enduring what they're enduring and you're making sure we (the US) don't forget about the Haitian people and what they're dealing with every day. I admire you more than you could possibly fathom. Thank you for your candid reporting and for pouring your heart into everything you are doing over there. It hasn't gone unnoticed.

    February 12, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  28. CHantal chery

    you are one true hero. On behalf of all the hatians we want to thank you and other who stood there to help us. May God continue to give you strenght and courage to continue ur hard work. Thank you and may God bless you

    February 12, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  29. Elizabeth

    Anderson, you sum it up perfectly:

    Here nothing is wasted. Nothing is fake. People look each other in the eye. They clasp your hand hard. Everything has been stripped away, gutted.

    I am a pedicatric orthpaedic surgeon who spent 8 days in Haiti after the earthquake. I reluctantly returned home and can't wait to go back in April.

    Nothing is fake! Best line of the blog. It couldn't have been more real, the best news/TV coverage cannot portray the devastation.

    February 12, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  30. Lisa

    I am moved by this article it does seem as though we have moved on some of us anyway. Anderson Cooper, job well done! Please continue to report the good, the bad and the ugly. I want to hear what you have to say, take care an be safe.

    May God bless you and all the people in Haiti.

    February 12, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  31. Holly Griesser

    Anderson, I am so glad that you are back in Haiti and covering what continues to go on there. I think there is still a lot of interest in what is happening in Haiti. It just seems that as soon as most of the mainstream media turns their attention elsewhere, so do a lot of people. Thank you for keeping Haiti in the public eye.

    February 12, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  32. Bridget Bradshaw

    Anderson as i read this blog the tears fall – for the people of Haiti, for the children in your stories – the little girl at the orphanage who rarely smiles and has never spoken since she came – for you, for the world... you would think that something of this magnitude would change our world forever – it doesn't. You of all people know that. I just want to tell you that because of the stories you tell – the people of New Orleans have stayed in my heart to this day – now i know the people of Haiti will stay in my heart forever. I myself don't understand how most in the World can forget – just go on with their lives and not be changed by it it all. The plight of our World is part of what makes me grow as a person – you and all the CNN crew are truly heros – thank you

    February 12, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
  33. Peggy

    Anderson – my heart goes out to you and your crew. I am so proud of you guys and the work you are doing! Your stories are so honest and true.
    You should all be awarded a Nobel prize for this work you are doing.
    Thank you and don't stop! We are still watching and learning

    February 12, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
  34. Cindy


    I am SO extremely glad that you haven't given up on this story as it seems that most of the other media has. Just because this story is a month old now doesn't mean that we should turn our back to these peoples struggles day in and day out. They need our help now more than ever.

    We American's do have the "out of sight out of mind" mentality and also the "if it isn't happening to me it doesn't matter" mentality. That's a shame! I hope by you being there and hopefully continuing to go back that you can tell us these peoples stories and keep it real to us so that we won't forget and so that we will want to still help them any way that we can. Giving money once isn't all that it takes.

    Thanks Cooper for your dedication to these people! It's obvious that this is way more to you than anyone wants to think and it's definitely not for the ratings as some ridiculous people and papers have said. Your tireless work there and even your tears prove that. You really are a very caring person and it's times like these where that comes out strongly. Thanks Cooper for all that you do!!


    February 12, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
  35. Beth

    May God bless you and keep you, and the survivors, safe...

    February 12, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
  36. Mari

    Anderson, your post was heart filled but painful. Thank you for being so honest and telling the story from your heart.

    February 12, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  37. Jera Cameron

    Thank you so much Anderson Cooper for keeping us with up to date information . May the good Lord bless you/. You have a good heart

    February 12, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  38. Mysti

    It's not old news to me Anderson.... And I am definitely "interested" in knowing that things are getting better, they have to get better! I have not forgotten about the Haitians, I have sent some money, I wish I could do more... Please keep the updates coming! Stay strong and be safe....

    February 12, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  39. Jamie

    Thank you for keeping this in the news. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Haiti.

    February 12, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
  40. Jody Gross

    Anderson please keep reporting people need your voice to keep going and the do understand that they need are help. If you look at what has been accomplised so far it six months it will be even better.

    February 12, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
  41. Sandina

    All I can say is wow. Anderson, as a Haitian myself, I'm really touched with how closely you've connected with my people. Thank you for sharing Haiti's story.

    February 12, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  42. Susan Thompson

    You are my word warrior Anderson. Be strong my brother for thru you, we can all see the pain. Thank you.

    February 12, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  43. Lilibeth

    It's true Anderson. Once you've seen what you've seen, it changes you forever. You don't go back to the way you were. I know you've heard this many times, but thank you for being there. All your stories, from the people pulled out from the rubble,to the orphans, to the corruption pieces, they've touched us in so many ways. Please keep following up on Haiti. We need to care more about countries like Haiti. Thank You again.

    Edmonds, Washington

    February 12, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  44. Janice

    Anderson...God Bless you and CNN for ALL that you do over there.

    February 12, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  45. Stacey in Calgary

    My family has not forgotten. Sending love and strength.

    February 12, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  46. afnaar

    Thank you for the truth.

    February 12, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  47. Candie

    You are doing such a wonderful job Anderson and I want to say thank you. My friend has lost 6 members in her family to this tragic. She has been trying to deal with this the best that she can. Knowing that someone and many more care can make things feel a little at ease not completely but a little.

    February 12, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  48. Tatiana

    Anderson and crew: Thanks for all you do for Haiti. Thanks for keeping this country in the spotlight when everybody else seems to have enough of it's misery. The Haitian people will never forget your name (along with the crew). Keep up the good work!

    February 12, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
  49. shee

    This week I have just been thinking, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I have always loved your show and the way you are so real!!!

    February 12, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
  50. Fred Michel

    Thank you for coming back and keep showing what might have been forgotten too fast. It has been one month already and like you said it seems like yesterday that our loved ones passed away. The country will carry this pain for the next 3 generations.

    February 12, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
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