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Baby, It’s Hot Outside

The middle of July can mean just one thing in these parts; it’s time for the Lycoming County Fair. Th is especially holds true in the eastern end of the county. What a great All-American event that celebrates the area we call home. This week’s cover informed me this is the 152nd celebration of farming, food, entertainment, and something fun and interesting to be found by all. I especially liked the featuring of three American flags on the cover by Editor Steph. July, in general, is the celebration of small-town Americana and all that’s good in our Nation.

With that being said, I’m going to flip back to the application of common sense I talked about last week. The daily forecast for our area could simply read morning smoke and haze followed by hot with a chance of an afternoon and evening thunderstorm. Please be aware of the current weather and your surroundings and be prepared. Tomorrow will be Groundhog Day in July. If you’re familiar with the movie, substitute heat and lightning for the cold and snow.

Do not allow the extremism As Seen on TV and the electronic device of your choosing to scare you away from the things you love doing this time of year. If you have breathing or health issues, they should always be factored into the environment and activities you’re choosing, be smart about what you choose to do.

Then it becomes a personal risk assessment. If you want to take your children or grandchildren to a ball game or outdoor event, you know your health and body better than the federal government. Do not allow them to take away life’s special moments. The fear factor implied has become a normal operating procedure since COVID. In the same breath, maybe shorten the amount of time you spend at an event or pick a different day or time more conducive to your health situation. And it should go without saying you should take into account the well-being of the people you’re with.

One of the best things you can do for your body, especially during the summertime, is to hydrate. Again, common sense, and that doesn’t mean drinking a couple of extra beers because it’s hot. Although if you want to have a cold beer on a hot day, by all means, do it, but don’t overdo it and make sure you’re drinking plenty of water.

If you are responsible for the young or old, stress hydration, make sure they understand how important it is. Make sure the athletes in your life understand good hydration is a daily practice, not just drinking a bunch of water or sports drinks on the day of a game.

If your young athlete, or yourself, has any type of breathing condition, understand the risk whether playing an organized sports event or maybe just sharing a round of golf together. You can also throw in that common sense about thunderstorms and not wait until the last moments to leave the golf course or ball field.

I know many of you are probably reading my column this week, thinking, why is he wasting his words on this? I get it. I also understand that common sense, planning, and respect for the weather seem to be at an all-time low. Like anything else, it’s about applying knowledge and finding balance.

I want to move on to the people in the world around us and looking out for the good of humanity. If you see someone struggling because of the heat or possibly an illness made worse by the heat, don’t be afraid to ask, “are you OK?” or bring it to the attention of somebody they are with. You would want someone to do this for a fellow family member or loved one. Please extend this simple courtesy even if they’re a complete stranger. If they appear to be in the midst of a health emergency but do not or cannot answer you, call for help. The individual could just be experiencing the effects of dehydration; however, they could also be experiencing much worse.

On a much easier note, we all cross paths with folks that are required to work in the heat this time of year. I will use your neighborhood postal carrier as an example. It never goes unappreciated when you offer them an ice-cold bottle of water. Maybe it’s somebody doing some contracting work around your house; that bottle of water could go a long way, depending on the day they’re having. And yes, I understand most carry their own water and probably will turn you down. However, you never know if you don’t ask.

It is the simple acts of kindness that help make the world a better place. This is a good spot to mention if you have someone in your neighborhood that is health compromised, or maybe just elderly and lives alone; check in on them whether it’s a hot day, stormy day, or maybe just your common sense tells you so. Hopefully, everything is fine, and you share a nice conversation and a smile.

Well, that’s it for this week. I’m heading down to Hughesville for a hot sausage sandwich, funnel cake, and a little ice cream. Let’s all be careful out there.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb