Wind Chill

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody seems to do anything about it.  My grandfather used to say that.  He also used to say “pass the salt and pepper.”  I found that odd as I had just given him a cup of tea.  

For my international readers, it is important to understand that I live in Canada.  For the geographically challenged, it is a country slightly west of Portugal.  If you are a resident of a tropical climate, lets say Hawaii, which is slightly a little more west of Portugal, I will do my best to explain the title of today’s highly educational blog.

This won’t take long for those fortunate sunny tropical ones, as you just need to totally reverse everything you know about heat. For example when the temperature is 93 degrees Farenheit (34 degrees Celsius ((307 Kelvin)) but it feels hotter adjustments are made.  The Humidex takes into account the amount of perspiration you emit when you step outside for 3 seconds to get your newspaper.  So if it is 93 degrees Farenheit, but humidity is high, if feels like it is 109 degrees, this is the Humidex correction, compensating for your inconvenient sweating.  Moving forward I will choose Celsius for statistics, as I only have 2 readers from the USA, and they are former Canadians who left Canada because they concluded that filling up their car with liters of gas seemed too expensive.

Wind Chill is similar to humidex only it is exactly the opposite of humidex.  So I guess their similarities are so different that they aren’t that similar at all. If I had any sense of decency I would delete everything I wrote so the readers wouldn’t feel like I was wasting their time.  I think I have a sense of humour, and that sense overwhelms my questionable sense of decency. 

Winter is a glorious time of the year in the Northern part of the world.  Christmas songs frequently advocate to Let it Snow, cause Baby it’s Cold Outside.  As uplifting and festive as these songs and carols are, they fail to mention the Wind Chill.

Wind chill is an adjustment.  When the thermometer, Alexa or your weather app indicates it is minus 12 Celsius , a strong breeze from the north pole will make it feel like it is minus 29.  This causes a significant difference of feeling in your finger tips, that will persuade you to choose mittens over gloves and might force you to wear a hat, even if your hair looks fantastic.

It is this subtle, yet important difference in what we see versus what we feel that leads me to a more important point, as the pandemic numbers get worse for our upcoming dark winter, because the option of loitering outside disappear.

I will use poetic license here, though currently my poetic license has expired.  I do have a valid driver’s license, but the picture makes me look like a less than hygienic taxi driver.  My 007 license to kill was taken away during the SARS epidemic, though my Netflix membership and my binging capacity has offered me a license to chill. 

With local lockdowns, ridiculous mask debates, and the early vaccine euphoria, the current confused state of behaviour is our emotional wind chill, as so many are feeling more than they are willing to show.

As Christmas approaches, we face the harsh reality of disconnection with our loved ones.  This very resilient virus just won’t take a holiday!  Our Winter Wonderland forces many to wonder what to do. My family’s traditional dinner for 35 will not happen, as large turkeys are secretly celebrating the “stay of execution” imposed by the economy.  Smaller turkeys are less than pleased by this new smaller poultry supply and demand reality.

As we struggle to do the right thing, the wind chill I am observing is getting to a tipping point of suppressed expression.  Let’s be honest here, the last people to manage a worldwide pandemic are no longer with us.  The Spanish Flu of 1918 was more than a century ago and history books or old newspaper clippings are not the top searches on Google in 2020.

The top 5 Google searches in 2020 are

  1. Coronavirus
  2. Election Results
  3. Kobe Bryant
  4. Zoom
  5. IPL

Well I had to search IPL to add to its numbers.  Turns out a lot of people were curious about the Indian Premier League of Cricket.

Comforting to know that human beings are desperately looking for information on our deadly virus and learning about Zoom as the ultimate social distancing act prevails when real connections become more difficult.

So the wind chill is real, and your family and friends are feeling more than they are showing.  I currently teach a communications course at college, and years of research conclude that words are 7% of what is being communicated.  Tone is 22% of communication and body language accounts for the rest of what is being communicated.  

During your times of virtual connection, perhaps it is good habit to raise your antenna frequency, (spidey senses or gut intuition) as your connections talk.  Check in on their words, dig a little deeper into these kind surface conversations where everybody is doing “fine.”  

We humans have a remarkable ability to not burden others with our feelings, as we can easily replace the word “lonely” “frustrated” or “isolated” with the easier, more acceptable word “fine”.  

I am sure any psychologist reading today’s rant would suggest that I am projecting here and this is more of a message to myself, than to others. Perhaps they are right.  I am more than a little frustrated, and saddened by the responsibility of keeping it all together, while not seeing or feeling so many people I used to casually, harmlessly interact with, never giving a thought to its importance.

As we prepare to celebrate a very different version of Christmas this year I make a promise to myself:  Test the wind chill of others.  Ensure the number they show, is the number they are feeling. All Christmas songs by nature are celebratory in tone.   This year I will try to sing between the lines, annoyingly checking in on your wind chill.  And so I offer this… to kids from 1 to 92.

Cue the Blong: I even mention vaccination with this one, buried in the lyrics… Stay Safe and Merry Christmas

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