Don’t Panic! It’s Hot!

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The ‘purple’ was added though never needed

I don’t mean to alarm you but last week was really hot. Did you know? If you didn’t, where the bloody hell have you been? Sure hasn’t been in Australia where it’s been talked about on every Facebook timeline, Twitter news feed and all over the news. Never before has the temperature outside been so openly discussed on social media. Even I couldn’t resist from posting on Facebook about it, asking people to look after their pets by giving them water, a cool and shady place to sit or to bring them inside if you have air-conditioning when the heat wave well and truly hit last week on Tuesday. There were numerous articles circulating online about how to keep cool in the heat.

In hindsight, when I think about it, I realised something: this created panic. It also made it worse.

We all knew it was hot, you only had to step outside of air-conditioning to know this. But checking the temperature (which I shamefully did many times) and finding out that it was 39 or 40 degrees, I suddenly felt much hotter. While the air-conditioning  was working, I could feel how hot it was outside.

This isn’t true, but I had genuinely convinced myself that this was the case because it was SO HOT.

You know what didn’t help? The Sydney Morning Herald who had a live blog dedicated to the heatwave. I kid you not. And you know what I did? I sat at work, updating the page every 15 minutes and sharing the news with my colleagues about how hot it was in central New South Wales and how many fires were currently burning and how many of them were contained.

I read almost every heat-related article.

Fire danger was higher than ever

Fire danger was higher than ever

People were asked to check on the elderly and care for animals due to the extreme heat. This is the smart and logical thing to do, but the way it was broadcast seemed to have everyone worrying that they may be responsible for the death of their pet or feel guilty for not checking on their parents or grandparents.

People started to panic. Worried about how hot it was going to get before the temperature even rose. Then the Bureau of Meteorology decided to really freak us out by adding two extra colours to their chart for when the temperature hits 50-54 degrees in Central Australia, which they predicted would happen this past Sunday (p.s. it didn’t).

I let this affect me, quite often saying “IT’S TOO HOT” in a huff while slumping like I was melting and blaming everything on the heat. Whether it was reported or not, it was ridiculously hot, I am not denying that, but the constant reminder of just how hot it was made everything worse. EVERYTHING*.

Everyone seemed to be freaking out about the heat and while it has been hotter than the past few summers, high temperatures is generally what happens in, you guessed it, summer. So people, calm your farm, stick on the air-con/fan/go-to-someones-house-with-air-con and don’t panic.

And if you live in a fire hazard zone, have a fire plan and listen for updates from the Rural Fire Service to stay safe. As safe as anyone can.

*Monique gets a little over enthusiastic when it’s so hot that it feels like the concrete is lava.

Did you think the media beat-up and the constant posts on social media were unnecessary? Do you think they caused panic? Did it make it feel hotter to you? 

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  • http://tamsinhowse.com/blog Tamsin Howse

    People definitely panicked! And, apart from bushfire areas being at risk (I’ve had my house almost burn down as a kid, scary stuff!), it really wasn’t necessary. Yep, it was hot. But I found myself panicking about my cats at home, despite the fact that the house is quite cool, one of the cats is shaved, my husband was home, and they had plenty of water!

    Interesting how it’s only 3* lower today and that kind of widespread panic hasn’t happened this time. Probably everyone used up all their panic that one day.

    • Monique Fischle

      Bushfire risk areas, I totally understood. But for everyone else, it was just ridiculous! So unnecessary.

  • http://explore.johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

    Shhhheeeee-yiiiittt! 42.6 in Sydney as I type this – Thanks for posting this today Monique…I may not be panicking, but the city sure is melting – not looking forward to my 15 minute walk to the bus at 3pm today….

    • Monique Fischle

      It’s 41 in Newcastle. Glad I’m in office air conditioning! Yeah, I’m feeling for you JJ, that’s going to suck! It’s very hot but I’m not feeling it as much today because there’s not the constant “OMG IT’S HOT” posts everywhere.

      • http://explore.johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

        It’s now 43.4 lol…err, I mean…bleh! :)

        I’m thinking of going across the road for a gelato…but that would, you know, mean going outside…

        Tamsin, get me an ice-cream!

        • Monique Fischle

          Ohhh I want gelato! We have Super Doopers in the freezer. But not the same as gelato!

        • http://tamsinhowse.com/blog Tamsin Howse

          Yeah, good luck with that… 😉

          • http://explore.johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

            Already got me some :)

  • Maree Talidu

    Last week I was annoyed by the level of news coverage- with 15 minute updates on tv, it was too much. This is Australia, we are not new to heat. I have no problem with them raising awareness about being safety conscious and of course we need to be aware of what people in fire prone areas are facing, but I think I get extra annoyed because I live in the hottest part of Sydney, they NEVER get the forecast right, it’s always much hotter than predicted, but people in other parts of Sydney wring their hands because it’s cracked 35 degrees while out here, we just get on with it. It’s not a competition, but last week my news feed looked like it was. So I posted a pic from our local newspaper’s page which showed 49 degrees in the shade at 5pm cos I was annoyed. Childish, I know. I think we need to really focus on those who have lost everything and only have the clothes on their backs- our homes are still standing, seems selfish to complain really.

    • http://explore.johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

      Yes, but people from my part of Sydney are soft…like Gelato… 😉

      • Maree Talidu

        Oh you had me at ‘gelato’!

    • Monique Fischle

      Not childish, I probably would have done the same thing.

      • Maree Talidu

        I just got so fed up as the day wore on, people were getting hysterical (on FB AND the tv), one of my friends in particular likes to point out the temperature rise on their page every 30 minutes or so, comes up on my feed, and though the friend lives in Sydney, the temperatures they post and whine about don’t even come close to what we experience out here. Great article Monique!

        • Monique Fischle

          When people go on and on about it, it just makes it a million times worse. When people were posting screen shots yesterday of the temperature outside their cars that said 47-50 degrees, all of a sudden I was “MELTING!” Thanks Maree :)