Home / Op-Ed / Baby, it’s really, really cold outside

Baby, it’s really, really cold outside

author: alexa lawlor | staff writer

Credit: Matthew via Flickr

“During periods of extreme cold, it’s probably a good idea to hibernate whenever possible.”

In Saskatchewan, we’re no strangers to cold weather. However, even we have to question why we stick around in a place where, occasionally, the temperature hits -50 degrees Celsius. Temperatures like this can be incredibly dangerous, but for some reason we all just head out into the cold to do whatever it is we have scheduled that day. This is, of course, probably because we have been forced to adjust to the cold, so that now extreme temperatures don’t even seem to faze us, since schools and businesses rarely close due to the weather conditions.

Even though we do wander out into the cold, especially extreme cold, we must remember that doing so can lead to slippery and dangerous roads. Factor in large amounts of snow to these already slippery roads, and the conditions become even more treacherous. A single second of not paying enough attention can cause disasters in the winter, which can lead to expensive repairs on your car, as well as the added possibility of fatal injuries.

At temperatures like -50 degrees, it’s probably not even worth it to attempt fun outdoor activities like skiing or skating, since extreme temperatures can lead to frost bite, and in some cases, death. A lot of times, you may not even be able to tell how long is too long to spend outside.

We certainly cannot change the weather, but there are some things we can do to cope with these dangerous conditions. First, and maybe most importantly, it is crucial to dress appropriately for the conditions. When you go outdoors, even if you will not be spending a lot of time outside, you should still be prepared for the cold. It also would not hurt to add a blanket or another jacket to the trunk of your car, just in case you run into some trouble, like getting into an accident or if your car breaks down, for example.

Finally, it is crucial to limit your time outdoors when the temperature plummets to an extreme low. Even if we can’t do anything about the temperature, we can do something for both the animals, and the people without homes that are left out in the cold. Being compassionate is key. It can be incredibly difficult to find somewhere warm to stay, especially when most shelters only have a limited capacity. It’s hard to imagine the struggle that some people have to go to in order to stay warm, especially in a province like Saskatchewan, where extremely cold winters are pretty much inevitable.

In addition, if it is too cold for a human being, then it is certainly too cold for an animal outside. So, it is mandatory to treat your pets as you would yourself, and do not let them outside for extended periods of time. Also, if you see a stray animal, don’t hesitate to call the Humane Society.

Overall, extreme temperatures can seem like they last forever, but with any luck, they only last a few days at a time. Hopefully, depending on the year, milder days will be more common than frigid ones. During periods of extreme cold, it’s probably a good idea to hibernate whenever possible.

About Ethan Butterfield