17 December 2007


I find that the weather makes people do strange things, but what surprises me most is the folks who seem to be completely oblivious to weather conditions. During Thursday's storm, there were a couple of people waiting for the bus with me who were wearing sweatpants and sneakers. It was about 22 degrees at that point, and we were outside for almost an hour; my boots were inadequate against the cold, so their feet must have been pretty well frozen at that point.

It's not like the storm swooped in unexpectedly--we'd been hearing about it for days beforehand--and it was just as cold that morning as it was later in the afternoon, so I have to wonder what a person is (or isn't) thinking when he or she gets dressed on a day like that. This holds true especially when you rely on buses and trains to get around, because you know you're going to be spending some time standing around outside.

Some people just don't get sick; my father was like that until about five years ago. But most of us wear multiple layers and take multivitamins and feel lucky if we make it through the winter without catching the flu or a serious cold. It makes me wonder about the people who are wandering around in snowstorms wearing inadequate clothing. Do they get sick? How often? If they don't get sick, why not? It would make for an interesting experiment (you can tell my medical work environment is rubbing off on me when I start designing studies), but definitely not a pleasant one for the test subjects.

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