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OPINION

Editorial: Congratulations to us all for taking such an epic cold stretch in stride

Mike Christopherson
Crookston Times

    It must be the pandemic. Certainly it’s not because people were hanging on every word of the second impeachment trial of twice-impeached former President Donald Trump.

    Yes, it has to be the pandemic. People are still trying to keep a safe distance from each other and they’re still trying to avoid gathering in large groups. Or maybe it’s even more basic and elementary than that: Maybe wearing a mask on our face for COVID-19-related safety reasons also doubles as a handy way to protect our face from what has been a frigid cold stretch of winter weather for the books.

    At any other time in any other winter, the week-plus stretch of days where the temperature, even so-called daytime “high” temperatures, hasn’t managed to climb above zero would be the talk of the town. Everywhere you went, people would be making the typical remarks and wisecracks about just how cold it is. With a windchill warning put in place for a remarkable handful of days in a row with forecasted windchill readings as low as 60 below, we’d be obsessing over the safety of our children and their exposed skin outside in the elements. We’d be wondering if school should be called off.

    But this year, this winter, this cold snap? The reaction has been barely more than a massive, collective shrug.

    Or maybe it’s the lack of snow. Maybe if we had five foot drifts at the ends of our driveways and at every intersection and we were having to shovel and snowblow a couple times every week, we’d all be pushed to the edge by more than a week straight of nothing but sub-zero temps. But maybe we look at the calendar and we see it’s already mid-February, and then we look out the window and see a few measly inches of crusty snow on the ground, and we look at the thermometer that reads 29 below and we mumble to ourselves, “I can handle this.”

    No matter what the main reasons are behind our mellow reaction to this flesh-freezing weather, here’s a pat on the back to all of us for rolling with it so well. It’ll be 30 in a week!

    And this is a big deal. When we finally climb back above zero, supposedly sometime Tuesday afternoon, the consecutive stretch of sub-zero temperatures will be among the top 10 longest stretches of sub-zero temperatures in the history of recorded weather data for our neck of the woods. It might even crack the top five.

    Well done, hearty northern Minnesotans...well done.

Mike Christopherson, Crookston Times managing editor