In Defense of Winter: Especially Right Now

In a time where quarantine and heavy workloads are taking a toll on students’ health, “bad” weather is one more attack on the general welfare. Or at least, that is the complaint I am hearing ever more frequently these days. I understand and am entirely sympathetic to those suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and people whose lifestyle and interests depend on getting some vitamin D. However, in these ~unprecedented times~ I believe we all benefit from and should celebrate the colder months. 


After experiencing mask-wearing in all four seasons, I can confidently state that this necessary precaution is most comfortable during the winter. When those freezing winds and precipitation assail your face, a mask is welcome protection— just like scarves or earmuffs. Jack Frost can’t nip at your nose if it’s snugly covered in a layer of cotton. In the warmer months, any extra fabric can become sweaty and irritating, but winter is the one time I don’t mind having my own hot breath blown back into my face. 


While socially-distancing outside is one of the safer ways to interact these days, on a small college campus like William & Mary secluded spaces tend to run out fast. On a clear spring day with the Farmer’s Market in full swing, Colonial Williamsburg is absolutely packed with throngs of tourists, locals and students. The best approach is to curl up in the warmth and security of your own home space, and what better time to do so than winter? You can wear comfy pajamas and don a fluffy blanket, what heaven! It is vital to actually follow safety protocol and take care of ourselves during this season, as the potential for airborne transmission does increase. Personally, I have taken this time to beautify my dorm space and hold weekly game nights (Jackbox and Backyard are awesome) with my friends in different states! 


Finally, as someone who normally spends a fair amount of time indoors, I know I am not alone in facing a kind of social pressure to go outside. On sunny days everyone is expected to take advantage of the weather; somehow, warm and bright days have earned the classification of “good” weather. If work or other occupations inhibit you from being able to spend a lot of time outdoors, there is always guilt at having missed out or squandered the opportunity to partake in a “good” day. This mindset might have carried over from childhood, but most people still perpetuate it today. I have listened to many professors that urge our class to spend some time in the sun while assigning pages and pages of electronic (hello, computer glare?) readings! Luckily, such pressures are virtually nonexistent in wintertime in the middle of a pandemic. No one is passing judgment or policing how you spend your time now, as long as it is spent safely. 


So: FaceTime your friends, try out that new recipe or show, and decompress indoors without FOMO!