So, it is now two weeks to the day when we all woke up - assuming we had slept at all - to the damage Sandy had unleashed overnight in South Jersey.

We are now in the unreal stage of the disaster, when some people and some places are almost back to normal, which belies the fact that those hit the hardest are still suffering unimaginably.

Nature's wrath is often perceived to be an equal-opportunity offender, inflicting damage and pain without regard to economic rank or race. But that isn't really true - especially not this storm, and especially not in places such as Ventnor and Atlantic City.

Most of the jobs in the resort's tourism industry are low-wage service jobs held by minorities. Most of the people who hold those jobs live in the areas most vulnerable to flooding - in the ground-floor apartments near the bay in Ventnor and Atlantic City. It is one of the demographic/geographic peculiarities of Absecon Island that what would be prime up-market real estate in most places - the land near the bay on the back side of the island - is often where the poor live in rundown, older structures.

Not to minimize the damage anyone suffered in this storm, but these are the people who are least able to bounce back quickly. "Families who live on the bay to Fairmount Avenue lost everything. It's all out on the curb," said Francie Josephsen, a technology coordinator for the Atlantic City schools.

They have lost their homes and everything in them. If they are lucky, they are living with friends or relatives. If they are less lucky, they are living in motel rooms provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. They may not speak English. Some may not be in this country legally, which means they will not seek government help for fear of being deported. (And please, if your response to that is they are here illegally and so deserve to suffer, you may as well stop reading now.)

Atlantic City school teachers and administrators - who, after all, know these storm victims better than most - have been remarkable in their response. A Facebook page for Atlantic City Teachers United was quickly created, and the city schools became de facto relief centers, taking in donations and distributing food, blankets, clothing and toiletries to students and their parents.

Many people and organizations have stepped up in response to this tragedy, but the response by Atlantic City's schools has been particularly impressive and especially helpful to the people who need the most help.

It has been two weeks of unrelieved stress for South Jersey, and unfortunately that is likely to continue for a great many people, even as the sand is swept up, the trash disposed of and the physical damage repaired.

This one is going to be with us for a while.