By Larry Plesant
It’s autumn again. Mind-boggling color schemes, frost on the zucchini and daylight actually getting shorter by three minutes a day. That’s an hour of light loss every twenty days if my math neuron is still working. Not so easy to adjust one’s body clock to the change. At least it happens just slowly enough for most of us to muddle well enough along into mid-November without seeing too much of the Seasonal Depression.
Nationally, Seasonal Affected Disorder or SAD affects 10 to 20% of the population. Those folks don’t live in Vermont. And certainly not in Vermont valleys where terrain further limits the amount of sunlight. I can only report anecdotally that I believe the New England rates to be even higher than in the sunny flatlands.
So why the %$##@$@@**!! (etc.) does Vermont still use the now obsolete Daylight Savings Time system? Most people don’t know it, but this is a state’s decision to make and not a federal one. One good lobbying push and we can end the cruel and inhumane, sanity-bending, heart attack-raising and depression-inducing practice of mucking around with our liberty-loving clocks.
And I only hold mild opinions on the issue.
It’s hard to bring about world peace or even to get the neighbor’s dog to stop barking. But it is not all that hard in a small and close-knit state like Vermont to pass a law ending Daylight Savings Time in Vermont once and for all.
Or keep us on it. I don’t care. Just stop tormenting us by mucking around with the clocks. Pick one. And stick with it. Clock changing is the psychological equivalent of waterboarding for a huge number of people. By this I refer not only to the 60,000-plus Vermonters who suffer from SAD, but to the sainted husbands, wives, friends and coworkers who have to put up with it.
The monetary loss of productivity, accident and error rates in the workplace from SAD is potentially staggering; and not only from the huge insurance and medical costs. At least, those that spend our taxes can reduce the onset, duration and depth of symptoms of SAD without spending one additional penny of our collective dough. Simply by leaving the clocks alone, the Vermont State Legislature can quickly reduce medication use, both licit and illicit, reduce highway deaths by crazed and drunken citizens in the grip of SAD and increase our already legendary worker productivity to new national heights.
And just as important, it will raise our Happiness Index. And isn’t that a big part of what it is all about — enjoying our lives here without stressing our neighbors or our blessed planet too much, living together in a way that makes sense for here and now? Come on legislature. Do the right thing and leave our clocks alone!
Wishing you ALL the Best during this beautiful season.
Contact Your State Representative here: http://legislature.vermont.gov/people/