Cabin fever
FTLComm - Tisdale - Thursday, January 22, 2009

Everyone has heard the legendary stories of people suffering from being closed up inside their home or dwelling during the winter and starting to show signs of mental fatique from the confinement. For me it was always just a story until we spent our first winter in the Yukon, a winter that began in late August and the snow was just disappearing in June.

Cabin fever seemed to kick in with the longer daylight days in late February. Everyone seemed to be a lot more picky about things, easily angered and often quite emotional and it is hard to be objective for indeed, it effects everyone, so you really don't know how you are handling the stress yourself.

Today, the warm temperatures that we had enjoyed for a week began to slip away, as fresh snow began falling and once again, I began thinking about those days in the Yukon and wishing and hoping, that winter would just lighten up some more and wander off into spring. Not a rational thought, because we still are not through January and it will be April before the snow goes and it is replaced by mud.

I drove out onto highway #3 this morning to see how the visibility was and thought I would get a picture or two for you, to show you this little snow storm. I realise I really don't have to do that, because this winter, the snow storms seem to come to all parts of North America, coast to coast and everyone has seen storms like this one for themselves. Nevertheless, remember there is a degree of cabin fever involved here, I really needed to drive a few miles west and back. Snow or no snow, it was a simple case of mental health.


This fellow has found a way of dealing with winter and the threat of cabin fever. He was walking past the golf course, a good mile's walk from the Tisdale Mall. Fortunately, the temperature and wind was tolerable, but there is a degree of desparation in this sort of action.

Though it really is to early for cabin fever, that short of warm weather reminded me that this part of the year is temporary and will, in due time, pass along. In the mean time, my habit of turning on the television to catch some news is a strong push toward unstable mental outlook on things. I am certain that out there in this great world of ours there must be something else worthy of noting in the news than the minute by minute activities of the new president of the United States. Even Canadian news media is locked in a rut, perhaps they too are suffering from cabin fever, but the dreadful repitious dredging of the financial and economic woes, is pretty well over the limit of endurance.

Have you noticed, no not just in winter during the potential cabin fever season, but all year round, how the news is really just a recitation of all the bad stuff that happens. Natural and human disasters, things that we go "tisk-tisk" about as we shake our heads, accepting the so-called news as a reflection of reality. That is pure myth. Local news is composed of the horrors of murder, murder trials, morbid illness, car accidents and petty scandal. National news is speculation about the latest unemployment, the size of the deficit and political posturing. World news is natural disaster, war, terrorist attacks and human rights violations. The distortion of reality by cabin fever is something to look forward to, compared to this stuff.

Then of course, we can try watching television and the evening menu includes murder victim autopsies, serial killers, medical mayhem and what is even worse, scripted events of supposed ordinary people, in what is charitably referred to as "reality" shows. Perhaps cabin fever is a universally shared experience and reflected on our TVs, or even more distressing, is the idea that because of our mental state, the TV networks know what we cabin fever victims will watch, including the morbid commercials.

Don't you really love the American drug commericals. After they have gone through the horrific side effects of the medication, you consider the positive things of just being really sick.

If you have some ideas about treatment and cures for cabin fever, send them along and we can share them with the readers of Ensign.

Timothy W. Shire

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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
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