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.
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?