I am trying to find the date where the United States gave up on dealing with winter. I seem to recall a tipping point in the early/mid-2000s in a storm that hit the East Coast.
The mentality shifted from trying to push through storms and only shut down when absolutely necessary, to preemptive cancellations taken to absurd levels in the name of safety.
Growing up in Minnesota we would cling to the radio hoping for a school closure announcement while our parents hoped for the opposite because they were going to work; sometimes we went years in between closures and only then typically for extreme cold in the -30 F range. Each time was a last-minute call. Everyone got on with it, and I don’t think that mentality was limited to cold weather states.
Now we have a culture to winter weather where businesses take any opportunity to shutter. We have not had one flake of snow in NY yet. It has been a beautiful, sunny, chilly day. Yet my gym has already shut down for Saturday, and even Citi Bike is shutting down. Why does a self-service bike share program need to shut down for snow?
I like the flexibility airline winter weather waivers now provide to customers, and can see the arguments for some preemptive flight cancellations when the likely alternatives are many hours of delay and eventual cancellations. Those waivers can even benefit irrepressible tricksters with no intention to travel.
Yet as an overall approach to life, is ‘can’t win, don’t try’ really the approach we should take? How long before we end up like the jumping at their own shadow English who need to wear hi-vis to cross the street?