The United Kingdom has been through a challenging few years and in most cases overcome the multitude of obstacles that have inhibited our ability to soldier on with our day to day lives. As human beings we are hard coded survive, to exist and see through the rough times. Global Pandemics, wars in Europe, Brexit and of course all sorts of political drama have poked at our British resilience recently and we have overcome. Now however we are faced with a new challenge, a challenge that will close schools, delay trains, create medical emergencies and prevent our ability to go to work. It’s not another war, virus, or government scandal, it’s something unprecedent in British history..., it’s going to get a bit hot!
Every weather commentator, news channel and blogger, is reacting to a warning from the met office that its going to get a little hotter this summer, in fact hotter than it ever has before. Temperatures may climb as high as 40 degrees Celsius. This heat brought about by unusual meteoric activity in Africa will envelope the UK for two whole days in 2022, and as a country, despite our proven resilience, it seems we are unable to cope and adapt to the sun coming out a little stronger and a little longer than normal.
As a nation we are creatures of habit, we like things to be dependable to remain as they are. We are comfortable, with rain, and cold and darkness. We are used to our sporting heroes letting us down, we have resigned ourselves to the fact that every summer unions go on strike, but through all of this as long as we have access to the internet a Netflix account and an umbrella we always survive. We will SMS our friends and family sharing opinions about how infuriating and inconvenient it all is, we will text the office telling them we won’t be coming in today, but we assume that stiff British upper lip and crack on. All these factors we are used to, in fact every year we depend on them to impact our lives at some stage and so we survive.
What takes us by surprise, something we have not come to depend on, something totally foreign to us and as such dangerous and risky is when it gets a little bit hot. When the sun comes out for slightly longer and when its rays and heat are slightly more evident the great British public panic, and society goes into a meltdown. It really is not supposed to get hot in the UK we are not prepared for it. Red weather warnings from government, schools being advised to close, trains cancelled, work and productivity negatively impacted all because it’s getting a little bit hot.
Perspective is needed, this heat is no hotter than the average summer in San Diego, Sydney, Cape Town or Thailand. The rest of the world deals with summer heat quite efficiently every year with no distraction or disruption. Things continue to work as planned, in fact we flock to these destinations for holidays with the knowledge and guarantee that we will get a suntan swim and relax and be able to move around easily. Heaven forbid that these same temperatures reach the UK even for two days as when it does the country comes to standstill.
Surely common sense can prevail, when it’s hot, we should keep hydrated, drink lots of water and if we are not used to the heat stay indoors or in the shade. If we are not used to the heat, we should avoid exercise or strenuous activity however all of this is dependent on everyone assuming personal responsibility for their own well-being. We should still be able to travel, work, exercise and carry on with normal day to day activity.
Sadly, here in Blighty this wonderful mud patch of an island we call home, heat is not dependable, very seldom expected or predicted and it appears mostly not appreciated. As a result, our response to it getting a little bit hot is often extreme, often more extreme than the weather itself and we find ourselves responding accordingly. We get wrapped up in comparing our heat to the heat in other parts of the world where it’s always hot, where society simply carries on regardless of the temperature, in order to justify to ourselves our rather parochial response to less dependable heat.