No Wonder We Panic

For the last few winters, I've noticed a strange thing... People get worried, stressed, and on the verge of panic because of a bit of snow. As a kid, winter would roll around, mum would get in the usual amount of shopping, and when the snow floofed down...

Nothing. Nothing bad happened. The roads were usable, the schools were open, the shops were open... Some people got in an extra loaf of bread, some got in additional milk, but for the most part, life carried on.

Now, however, the forecasters predict snow two, three, even four weeks in advanced, and it's on the TV, the radio, the news covers it, Facebook and Twitter is awash with it... Week before last, the news was on, and the weather report made an actual segment of the news for the impending "Arctic Conditions"... Three weeks of heavy snow they stated. Weeks of chaos. Blizzards. Twelve inches or more of snow.

All due to start a week from this report.

A week later? Nothing. No snow, no ice... It was a bit chilly, but nothing.

A week after that - Monday just gone - and still nothing. Then, we were told Wednesday it would snow. Then Thursday. Now today, Friday, we have snow. Just a little bit. A dusting, I believe would be the best description.

For the last 48 hours, however, the news has been filled with terms that I am sure are simply there to incite us, to make us worry and panic and stress out. They alternate the measurements system too - originally, it was "Six to Twelve inches" whereas now, it's "Five to ten centimetres" 

Let's face it, if they were to stick to the same measurement and told the truth, five centimetres is two inches. Two. However, the big NUMBER at the front of the measurement is what people see.

The headlines are filled with words like "Panic" and "Chaos" and "Hell" and "Fears" and suchlike. People run out to the shops and grab loads of bread and milk and stuff... But unless you live in the countryside - the shops are open most of the time. Seven days, mostly, and a lot of you probably live near 24 hour shops.

So why grab all the bread and milk you can, why you can - worst case - slip and slide down to the nearby shop and grab a loaf.

I suspect the press fill their reports with all these "scary" buzzwords for the simple fact that in general, it wouldn't make interesting news. "Snow Expected" isn't nearly as catchy as "Britain Braced For Snow Chaos!" and people wouldn't read it and think "Oh CRAP! Must update Facebook and buy thirty pints of bread or twenty loaves of milk!"

If people would just sit, and chill out, and breath a little, they'd realise that in fact, it's not a lot of snow, if you drive according to the conditions you'll be fine, that the shops are all still open... Don't play into their hands, don't worry or stress or anything else... It's just snow. In the winter. Just like happens every winter and has done so every winter since winter was invented back in 1822.

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