November 28, 2020

Snow more panic

Andrea Sisney is a junior journalism major and staff writer for The Journal

The so-called “Snowpocalypse” brought about a frenzy in Missouri unseen since the Y2K scare.
Every weatherman from the Midwest seemed panicked, warning viewers of the impending doom. They trembled through our televisions, prophesying the worst storm in over 20 years.
Snow and sleet and wind, oh my! People in the greater St. Louis area rushed out to grocery stores in a hectic daze. Stores were selling goods faster than they could stock the shelves. Parents drove as fast as they dared — about 15 miles an hour — to pull their children out of school before traveling was impossible.
I stopped by Wal-Mart on my way home from work on Monday to find the place in shambles. Workers looked frazzled, boxes of snacks lay strewn on the floor and shoppers, lost in thought, barely avoided cart collisions.
Standing in the enormous check-out line with my milk and shampoo, I was met with a ridiculous view. In front of me stood a woman, cart overflowing with her rations for the storm — Easy Mac, pizza rolls and chicken nuggets.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought the point of stock-piling for a snow day was to ensure you can eat if the power goes out? I think this lady missed the point, since everything she bought required a microwave. If “Snowpocalypse” did indeed turn out to be the storm of the century, her children would be left eating raw noodles and freezer-burnt meat.
I have lived in Missouri all my life. And every year we seem to have had the “worst storm in history.” I don’t understand the absolute fear St. Louisans had over “Snowpocalypse.” Perhaps if we lived in the south, where snow falls once a decade, the panic would make sense.
But ice and snow are a common occurrence. Missourians can expect bitter cold winds and precipitation each year.
Currently, I live five hours north of St. Louis, about as far as you can get while staying in state. Being farther away from the equator, my hometown does get more winter weather on average than Webster University.
Maybe that is why I don’t freak out when a meteorologist predicts heavy snow.
We are an intelligent society. We no longer rely on superstition to explain the weather. We know that snow is just frozen water and that eventually it will melt. It’s not the result of an ‘angry god’ or an unexplainable phenomenon, so why do we act like chickens with our heads cut off when flakes start to fall?
Snow is supposed to be a magical thing. I remember the excitement and wonder I felt as a child, pressing my nose against the window watching the soft white flakes float to the ground.
When we were young, snow was cause for a celebration. Snow meant getting to stay up half an hour later, since you didn’t have school the next day. It meant hot chocolate and a day of play. For Webster students today, snow means an opportunity to catch up on sleep or an extra day to finish a paper.
So St. Louisans need to take a deep breath and count to ten the next time they are faced with heavy winter weather.
Remember that the city will do their best to clear the streets.
We have cell phones that don’t require electricity to keep in contact with others and we can use in emergency cases should the power go out.
We can survive in our homes for a few days if we need to, particularly when the weathermen use their technology to detect snow early.
We’re not going to die. We’re going to be cold, we’re going to slip and slide, but death won’t come to those with their wits and their heaters working.
Besides, everyone should know by now that you can’t trust what a meteorologist predicts.

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