Well before the early 1500s, when Sir Thomas Moore first coined the term “Utopia,” people have been thinking about how to design their ideal community. Maybe it’s one that doesn’t use money, or one that drops traditional family structures and … Continue reading →
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is ninety nine percent, invisible I'm roman Mars, since the early fifteen hundred when Sir Thomas more coined the word utopia probably well before them, people in thinking about how to design their ideal society, may it's one that doesn't use money or one that drops the additional family structure in favour of raising Children, collectively one to check that's producer, Delaney Hall, getting ready to visit a sort of utopia and before she left she factor by tested her recording equipment grabbed. If, the extra packs of double a batteries this type of water, thoroughly washed. Every item of clothing machines, brain with her box. Making soda dumping, some of it in this troubled water to be more explicit,
I spoke to my clothes in a tub of baking soda for forty eight hours and showered with doktor brunners, uncensored soap. For two weeks before I left genes and putting them into doing you. Reports for the show state of the union. Every episode is about a different place, so she travels a lot, but she doesn't usually go to these kinds of extremes to get ready This is an unusual reporting trip. I'm about to go on and headed when isolated community in Eastern Arizona on the outskirts of a small town called snowflake and the people who live There have given me very special instructions for how to get ready for some people in snowflake. Utopia just means not being physically SEC.
A community of people who live just outside the small role tone of a medical condition called in seals, multiple chemical sensitively. It means there are seriously intolerant to launder detergent, perfume cigarette smoke, chorus, almost commercial cleaning products and snowflake as a community designed around keeping that sort of stuff out. People who have em cs can be seriously affected, sometimes disabled by migraines muscle, pain, rashes, naga and fatigue. But most difficulties have not shown a strong connection between chemical exposures and symptoms. There's, no real medical consensus about what causes the illness and doctors disagree about, whether symptoms or physiological psychological or both. That means that people with M C s are often dismissed as well. I put contrary acts. Many find themselves without sympathetic, medical care, access to services that people with recognised disabilities might have. There are a subset of doctors who believe in M Cs entreated, but most mainstream physicians, avoid the diagnosis and so a lot of people with the onus fall back on trial and error, designing their diet, habits and environments to try and make themselves feel better.
My first morning snowflake. This is really an incredible landscape, very flat, very dry. You see a long way in every direction. Skies very blue. The house's out here, I'll Biltmore, really simple style. Click have sheet metal walls. Its troops are generally pretty Delaney. Didn't notice, move work to find out whether not empty, as was quoting good, real, She went to learn how people have built new lives in arms designed to fit. There very particular needs album on the remote grassy platter, Susan Malloy has short curly hair and a wide grin its below freezing but all the windows in her small house, her open for me
but with M C S their home is the only environment they can really control. I'm suddenly very aware of my snow and more They then prepare well enough. Susan offers me a cup of coffee. Sure and then just like I worried, I smell cigarettes. What would you like me to do? I'm not quite sure. Ok, I'm gonna get close you for just a SEC. Ok surf the blouse, maybe Do you mind if I give you set, must where no not at all, like you have guessed The lady is not a smoker, but this is the level of Susan sensitivity. Susan is at the heart of this community. People have described to me as a fairy godmother and the queen, she works with curious. Siders. Like me, she also attend school. France's on disability rights and spend hours each week answering phone calls from people who are sick, she's, healthier them
Lots of her neighbours, but that has not always been the case. For me, was just real fast. I felt this just sorry feeling in my head and My sinuses in the palace of my mouth and my throat folklore, Susan was living in San Francisco when she first got sick back in the early nineties. Her activities began to cascade, which is pretty typical for the illness. Her allergy to chemicals grew into a sensitive eat, food and clothing. Then electricity tell phones, computers, kitchen appliances, pretty much everything became toxic to her furniture to go there. Had to go to grow It's come overrun and take my clothes discovery of almost everything away. Susan, sometimes on porches in her car and at her parents at her sickness, she couldn't even drink, chemically treated, tap water and her mom put.
Gets in the yard to gather rain then in front. Them CS, invited her to visit snowflake, whirl high altitude community with good, clean air. He discovered at a few years before driving around the country, trying to find a place where his symptoms wouldn't be so severe Susan visited for me improvement was so radical. You know get out of the car, you feel better, it walk you dont want the oxygen tank, here's your speeches, Clare, I want him with here, but my body, sick, YAP or Movement for Susan felt, like a passage like a journey between two different worlds, in the old days for someone to get on a ship and go to the United States from Ireland, they didn't really want to leave. It just were unable to make it anymore insulated. This huge risk and got on the ship felt a little bit like that to me.
Gradually more people moved a snowflake. They came from all over an engineer from Denmark, a marketing director from Toronto, a chef from the Philippines, a teacher, from San Francisco now there about three dozen household scattered across his area, all united by this illness and they're, not the first time when history to move because of sickness forever, you been people who pattern. Locate because of particular medical problem, I'm health reasons. In fact, The history of medical migration to this part of the country goes back a long ways. A hundred years ago, doctors encourage people with tuberculosis to head west for the same clean dry air that brought Susan here. So many patients ended up in Arizona that ten cities sprouted up across the state and local is gave them a nickname learners. Because of the hacking cough that characterize the illness it is not an uncommon experience,
for human beings just right now, if our turn or it with a new guys, but the common it'd thing about this illness. Is that it so unknown so doctors would argue that this place isolates people pushes them deeper into their sickness all the time. About diet and remedies and building techniques only reinforces what might be better treated and other ways, but and told me this place saved her life for kitchen for fame is the better of which is the thing. The living room. I mean, I basically live in one big room. Susan built this house herself with help from friends with the people here and snowflake might be the closest thing. There is two a m c s, think tank and they develop building techniques that help men. It's their sensitivities. That means using code unquote safe materials like ceramic tile or concrete floors, instead of carpeting, which, That's chemical odors, Susan, also foil line sheet rock, which covered her walls, giving the whole
inside of her house, a silver sheen I just couldn't afford to risk paint. You know get the wrong kind of pay. Your whole houses, Oh boy, maybe forever- or maybe at least for several months her couple years, but maybe the most striking thing about this house is the way that Susan has isolated most of her electronics in a separate room which he can come fleetly shut off from the rest of the house. That's because many people with M C S also experience sensitivity to electricity. You design a pretty strategically with that room in mind of the room at the front of the house is the one where you electricity comes into one corner of the house comes in right right over there, The rest, the house doesn't have to be as affected by it should Sir Television and a vcr in a separate room and she's constructed a thick window. To watch tv through while keeping the equipment isolated.
The television is an ancient law and I mean by today's standards and it's really nice special other than its old don't wanna have new Michael emissions in my as you know, from plastics and so forth. If there's any way around it For this one is old and ere it out, and this alas, she in front of it is too the fumes in room like an open, the front door and let the fumes go out with contaminating the inside of ass, the house as modest, but you can tell how much it means to Susan shows me every corner and every adaptation, it's her safe haven and there are lots of people who are desperate to move out here to live in a little place. Just like this one. Soon, his phone rings. It's usually not a good sign. I dont get calls for.
People for whom is going great. You know I love you, I you know I am available desire could not be during work and I've got. It if you like, I can early burning and bleeding from the portion. Susan continue I like this a week from runners, people who are moving from place to place trying to find somewhere that feels safe, snowflake the only community of its kind, but it's one of the largest and most established still there doesn't mean, there's really for everyone, I'm sorry, but There is someone living there soon, tracks the limited housing and snowflake and sugar the bad news when she can't help out. I don't know you never now. Look waiting for miracles happen. I need a miracle I don't have any miracles. I wish I did
I know you're not asking me to get off that. I need to go, get in trouble channel right now, I'm afraid that's what a typical call is like In our people, who are real sick where they are and need to be in, it another kind of housing in there isn't any. Over the years enough people with IMS. Yes, I've come to snowflake that the wider community has adapted to them at least There is a real estate agent who helps people find and c S friendly properties, there's an organic food stores, which is kind of unusual for a world town of five thousand. The owner. There will sometimes shop for people with them CS and leave the groceries outside for them to pick up, so they don't have to come into the store which smells like incense and then there's the dentist. And my ear patients usually come in through the back door. They wait cars We have right here
gee. I is short for environmental illness, another term for multiple chemicals sensitivity. Is a hygiene is here it Sierra Dental, Sierra. Until regularly sees about forty patients with M C S and they have adapted their practice to make it friendly to people with sensitivities. And I usually tend to see him at eight o clock in the morning, because that's I haven't. My room down with chemicals, because I did it the night before I don't have to worry about him snow in the cab aside, wipes, which is what we use their Danavas Melissa, also shuts down the x ray machine, opens the windows and turns off the fluorescent lights if patients requested as far as polishing tee, I use plain pumice stone, so we there getting the chemicals. The other thing we do here in the office is we don't use fabric softness, actually use natural laundry. Help. We use a lot of us. Do no spray
is no smelly. Lotions. Things like that, so you know, like. I understand it a lot of under really sick because of chemical an electronics and all sorts of things, so lots of people are sceptical when they first here about the illness but Melissa, just kind of rolled with it. She did research. She believed her patience, complaints, Shiva sympathized, a little bit. I remember as a kid I spent in Vermont. We went to the Yankee a candle factory- and it was my we experience with a migraine. Headaches- was smelling all of those the smells. And I dont- have chemical sensitivities but being around all of those smells all day. Long was the worst headache of my life, so I equate that, with all the time with these poor people we're back on citizens, porch and she's looking out over the landscape. She knows that this community
pens on the tolerance and accommodation of people like Melissa. All it takes is worse family building a gas station. Out there on the road and a lot Said- have to move in a little while Susan has a date with another friend in the community she's going to read a book which means shall stand outside this house of the book up to his window and turn the pages he's too sensitive to let her or even the book itself inside. It makes- if you're in snowflake seem so precarious, it is fragile. Why no one else I treasure it for being here at all, so I am hybrid vigilant about. Always hoping it nothing's going to happen to us always have that we're gonna keep getting away with the slight that we dealt here
Ninety, nine percent, invisible was pretty sweet by Delaney Heart from the public good Ninety nine percent, invisible was pretty sweet by Delaney Hall from the public radio show state of the union. If you like, great stories about places in the communities that people create, and I'm guessing you do so too, Is the chauffeur you find out more at stated the reunion dotcom, our show, is produced by SAM Greenspan, Katy, mingle, Avery, trough lament and me roman Mars. We a project of ninety one point: seven, local public radio, K, L W in San Francisco and produce the offices of arc sign in beautiful, downtown chemical, free, Oakland, California,. We often don't think of winter as a time of growth or creation. But if you think about it, it's the perfect time to greet your own website, cooped up you thinkin about being productive, and now, sir,
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-15.