If you live in the northern or northeastern portion of the United States, you are at a greater risk of contacting a condition that affects the total body. It is called PVS or Polar Vortex Syndrome. Symptoms include frostbite of the skin, redness in the face, uncontrolled shivering and walking with a hunch. During the past week, millions of people around the country were affected by this horrible condition. It was an epidemic that spread outside of its normal boundaries. Even people in Florida, for crying out loud!!! were being affected. The national media was all over this story and warning people to just stay inside. Many schools and businesses were closed down. How could this be happening? Al Gore and his global warming peeps have been telling us to relax and enjoy our winters. We would no longer have to endure this condition again. Global warming would take care of PVS. Unfortunately, that was not the case last week. PVS was running wild across a good portion of this country.
Being the rebellious person that I can be at times, I ignored the pleas and warnings from those media types and went about my daily routines during last weeks’s cold snap. I am well aware of the devastating effects that PVS can do to your body so I took the proper precautions. Before venturing outside, I put on a nice, bulky sweater for fear that my workplace would be low on heat that day. After putting on the sweater, I put my heavier winter jacket, along with a scar, gloves and a hat. It was much more that I normally wear before going outside but I wanted to protect myself as much as possible against this terrible condition. I opened the door and sure, it felt like opening a frosty refrigerator but I was not really shivering at all. The extra layers worked wonders!! My car has a new battery and despite a rather rough initial sound, my ride was up and running in no time and away I went off to work. Yes, despite all these warnings about staying home. It was 15 below at the time and the wind chill was hovering around 45 below. How stupid of me to go out in those conditions!!
But you have to understand, I grew up in northern Minnesota so PVS is nothing new to me. I experienced it many times in my youth, even far worse than 15 below. 15 below? Are you serious? That was a typical low temperature during the winter. The cold weather did not stop us from enjoying the outdoors. School was not canceled due to some measly 15 below temp!! Heck, I even walked to school in far colder temps. Not only walk to school but participate in outdoor activities. I still remember the morning when I played in this crazy outdoor softball tournament on a frozen lake. The morning temp during our first game was 39 below! Never once was school canceled because of the cold weather. I was amazed at seeing schools being canceled this week because the temperatures were too low. My hometown has really grown soft; it was 25 below and they decided to cancel school; We have become a bunch of winter wimps!!
Funny but I was able to go out my day and finish all my work and routines. Life did not stop for me and I did not hibernate in my home. Sure I wish it was sunny and 80 outside but hey, we got dealt with this deck of cards so deal with it. Life goes on. Anyone can become a polar vortex survivor if they just ummm, dress up a little, are you reading this kids and maybe just use a little common sense. Sadly, that seems to be a remote thing these days!! We are almost certain to have more PVS outbreaks this winter. I am sure that people will again sound the panic alarm and want school to be canceled when it dips slightly below zero. (Or in Florida’s case when dips to 20 above zero; oh those poor folks!!). Life does not have to come to a grinding stop. I have survived this condition for many years and you can too. Here in Minnesota, it is in the 20’s above zero today; I better look for my flip flops and shorts today. We are experiencing a heat wave!!