If CDC Were In Charge of Snow Removal
By Kim Stagliano
On Friday a blizzard struck the Northeast with outrageous force. Think "Hurricane Sandy" during the throes of her worst PMS with no chocolate in the house while in a freezer. That.
I live in Fairfield County, CT. We can see Long Island across the Sound. New York city is a commuter train away. We are considered civilization on most maps. However, this storm packed 34.5" of snow and hobbled snow removal efforts. As of Sunday afternoon, much of the town remained unplowed, including my street. That said, we're warm and dry, never lost power and have enough baking supplies to rival the Keebler Elves' Hollow Tree - so we're good.
Our town Facebook pages are full of angry citizens though - shaking their cyberfists at the town that has not miraculously cleared out this snow fast enough. One woman went so far as to say, "I have to get to New Jersey tomorrrow! We're going on a cruise!" I sent up a prayer she got out, and that an iceberg was developing in the Atlantic.
Like many of us who read AofA, I have a child with autism. Three as you well know. I suppose that the trials and tribulations of life in the autism trenches for so long as made me brush off petty inconveniences like being trapped in my house for 3+ days with snow drifts taller than my husband. At one point I got a bit delusional though - perhaps after listening the the Barney Theme Song for the 99th time on YouTube. And I went into a reverie - what if the CDC were in charge of snow removal in my town....
Kim: "Hello, town? I have an emergency. I'd like to report 34.5 inches of snow on my street and ask you to remove it, please."
Town: "Why? What's wrong?"
Kim: "Um, there are 34.5 inches of snow on the street. You know, where we are supposed to drive
Town: "Yes we know."
Kim: "What are you going to do about it?"
Kim: "But I see snow everywhere."
Town: "There has always been snow everywhere."
Kim: "Not in June. Or yesterday."
Town: You poor silly citizen. Stop it. There has always been snow everywhere."
Kim "34.5 inches? I don't think so!"
Town: "We aren't certain how much snow is on the ground. But whatever the amount, we used to call it a dusting. Or Summer. We've just gotten much better at measuring snow."
Kim: "Other people on FaceBook are saying there is new snow here in town."
Town: "The Internet! Oh my you really are a sad woman. Stop looking on the Internet."
Kim: "What are you going to to about the snow?"
Town: "We are going to start making you aware of the snow with a vigorous campaign."
Kim: "I'm up to my eyeballs in snow! I'm aware of the snow! Everyone in town is aware of the snow!"
Town: "We are going to make you aware of the snow. And tell you how handy it is to keep things cold. And you can make candy from it with hot maple syrup."
Kim: "Yeah, thanks for the Laura Ingall's candy moment. But the snow blocked my neighbor's vent and she died of carbon monoxide poisoning while her husband was out shoveling! The snow can be deadly!"
Town: "There are no studies that state that your neighbor's over-inhalation of carbon monoxide had anything to do with snow in the vents."
Kim: "But.. what are you going to DO?"
Town: "We have a new committee, 14 people from the Sahara desert and two Eskimos who make their living selling snow products are working very hard."
Kim: "Anything else?"
Town: We're working on a new measurement system to confirm that there has always been 3 feet of snow in town. And if you'd like we'll deliver some ice to your house tomorrow. Goodbye."
Where's the part where you tell the town that vaccines caused the snow?
Posted by: stu | February 20, 2013 at 11:23 AM
Great comment Twyla,another vote for you. You need to become a writer and educate people.
Posted by: oneVoice | February 15, 2013 at 09:46 AM
1 in 88 communities around the country currently have snow. Isn't that the definition of an epidemic of snow?
I wonder what the snow deniers will say about that!
Posted by: Doug | February 13, 2013 at 11:25 AM
I LOVE IT
Posted by: Katie Wright | February 12, 2013 at 07:55 PM
Just remember that if you slip and fall and get injured b/c of all the unplowed snow, there is no link between snow and slip and fall injuries. If you are injured you have to go to snow injury court and file a claim within in 3 years. The Snow court compensation fund is paid for by a tax on all snow shovels. Just don't call it a slip and fall because, again, there is no link!!
Posted by: Sarah | February 12, 2013 at 09:38 AM
Ohio Snowmen's Self-Help Initiation Team (OHSH*T),
Thanks for the chuckle, and a coffee snort!
Posted by: Benedetta | February 12, 2013 at 08:30 AM
My vote for best goes to Twylas comment. Actually I liked a lot of them.
Whats bad is how many of the real studies are just as rdiculous.
I always thought that those studies with a cut off age of two and "wow we found no connection to autism" to be supremely badly designed.
How many kids are fully diagnosed at 24 months? Most parents are still being told their kid is just a late talker.Of course you won't find a connection if you deliberately leave out everyone who has a diagnosis before you crunch your numbers..
Posted by: Hera | February 12, 2013 at 01:11 AM
The Institute of Snow recently released a report saying that there are no long-term studies regarding the effects of multiple snowstorms that lead to large amounts of snow accumulation. However, the results from the small amount of short-term studies that we do have, mostly funded by snowmen, are encouraging. So you should be encouraged by your snow. Also, clearly it would be unethical to do such a properly controlled, long-term study of snowed vs un-snowed populations, because when trying to prove that snow is safe, it's unethical to withhold snow that is assumed to be safe (per the snowmen via snowflake logic).
Posted by: tdj | February 11, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Ignore the Oh Sh*t troll. I'm sure they're one of those people from the precip-diversity movement.
Posted by: Jen | February 11, 2013 at 11:30 PM
A committee is set up within one of the government agencies on how to remove this snow. To head the committee, they have chosen a man whose family makes a living at snow removal. This committee could take decades to solve the problem of snow removal as his family cleans up financially.
Posted by: Benedetta | February 11, 2013 at 11:16 PM
The snow used to be stored in special buildings. Now you're just seeing it because of de-instsnowinalization.
Posted by: Jen | February 11, 2013 at 08:46 PM
As a member of the Ohio Snowmen's Self-Help Initiation Team (OHSH*T), I protest your inferred request for research into the role of climate change in generating modern freak storms and causing an "epidemic" of frostbite as a veiled call for genocide. There is no epidemic and studies show that frostbite is genetic and has absolutely no association to babies blown into snowdrifts by 90 mile an hour winds. How dare you imply that most people with full body frostbite lose limbs. I was born with seven fingers and type just fine with them. Nothing about us without us! (Though kindly disregard the million or so children with no arms-- they detract from our salt-truck sponsored self esteem campaign.)
Posted by: Oh Sh*t | February 11, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Soon they'll be sending their flakes to CT to count the flakes that fell...they claim to be really good at counting!!
Posted by: DannysVoice | February 11, 2013 at 06:12 PM
@Maurine: TOTALLY. Lou Conte wins!
Posted by: Taximom | February 11, 2013 at 04:33 PM
I say Lou Conte wins for cleverest response, shovels down.
I expect the prize will be a trip to Boston.
Posted by: Maurine Meleck | February 11, 2013 at 03:55 PM
Snow has always been here; we just called it frozen water vapor before. We've funneled tons of research money into genetic studies, so if there is snow in your area, it's genetic, and therefore your own fault. Not to worry, we have medications for it, which we strongly recommend, especially for pregnant women.
As for any medical conditions that seem to be associated with snow, such as heart attacks while shoveling, frostbite, etc., well, those are just temporal coincidences, and would have happened anyway.
Posted by: Taximom | February 11, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Thank you Kim for my laugh of the day.... I should do a cartoon series on how autism is handled.
There is no end to the comparison to be made when the subject is ADDRESSING AUTISM. In 2011 I wrote, If autism were an earthquake or a tsunami,
http://www.ageofautism.com/2011/03/if-autism-were-an-earthquake-or-a-tsunami.html about the pathetic coverage given to autism compared to other disasters. The contrast is stunning and truly inexplicable.
In 2013 I wrote, If the press covered the flu outbreak like they cover autism. http://annedachel.com/2013/01/09/if-the-press-covered-the-flu-outbreak-like-they-cover-autism/ In essence, they'd ignore it, just like they do autism.
In 2013, Katie Wright wrote, If Autism Experts Were In Charge of Flu Epidemic.
The truth is, the media and our health experts work hand in hand. The press has conditioned us to expect no answers and no action from officials when the crisis is autism. No one is ever in charge or held accountable. Incompetence, malfeasance, and cover-up are the standard and it's just too bad if you’re the unlucky parent of the next child who regresses into autism.
It's a response that would lead to outrage everywhere if the issue were anything BUT AUTISM.
Anne Dachel, Media
Posted by: Anne Dachel | February 11, 2013 at 02:12 PM
Funny. And sad. Like a circus clown.
Posted by: chuck | February 11, 2013 at 01:28 PM
Oddly enough, the Amish are not reporting a snow problem.
Posted by: Tracy W. | February 11, 2013 at 01:14 PM
The latest study shows NO LINK between weather conditions and impassable streets. After all, there are weather conditions all over the country, and THEIR streets are passable! That's proof that weather must be safe for everybody everywhere! There must be something wrong with YOUR street!
Posted by: Helicopter Mom | February 11, 2013 at 12:59 PM
Hope you guys can get out and about soon! Even us snow-deprived people would have a hard time with three or more days of being snowed under.
But don't despair, I'm sure that when pharma develops a vaccine for hypothermia--it's probably already in the pipeline--the CDC will see a blizzard in every dusting and never fail to commission an unleashing of snowplows, probably with Poul Thorsen at the head, to make sure you can get to your local pharmacy!
Posted by: Jeannette Bishop | February 11, 2013 at 12:39 PM
Are You sure it is snow? Perhaps your eyes need adjustment or you need some re education to id just what snow is. We have the radar and it says clear skies and sunny. If you would like we could send a study that shows you we are right.
Posted by: six | February 11, 2013 at 12:03 PM
Study; There have been questions about the safety of the current snow schedule.
We gave a man a cup of H2O to drink ( chemically the same composition as snow) and he had No side effects.In fact, he siad he felt less thirsty after drinking it. Snow obviously has major benefits and should be given to everyone. We are now confident in recommending the current snow schedule.
Reports that the application of a shovel to snow can reduce the effects of snow appear to be unfounded. Scientists laid a shovel on top of the snow and left it there for 15 minutes. No statistically significant reduction in the snow level occured. We would not recommend that anyone use a shovel when dealing with snow.
Ok, this is kind of fun.
On a more serious note, hope everyone who is snowed in is safe and warm.
Posted by: Hera | February 11, 2013 at 11:59 AM
Are you anti-snow? Snow is necessary for skiing! And the snowpack is critical to our water supply! People would die without water! You are scaring people with your baseless snow-fear-mongering! You have not linked to a single peer reviewed scientific article published in a respected journal proving that your street needs to be plowed! You should leave these issues in the hands of the snow experts! Obviously you've been reading stuff on the internet, because this article is on the internet!
Posted by: Twyla | February 11, 2013 at 11:14 AM
I say we appoint some Special Masters to preside over the Omnibus Snow Job Proceedings.
Posted by: Louis Conte | February 11, 2013 at 11:13 AM
Kim, Don't you know if there is really snow then it is all your fault - you have bad genes and your husband must be overweight, and maybe one of you is too old....but don't worry - we are going to send a scientist to Denmark to study their snow and in 10 years we will be able to tell you just how much snow they have and rule out that there really was a blizzard. Don't worry, trust us, we are from the government and here to help you! Now go get your flu shot because if there is snow, you might get the flu.
Posted by: Rose | February 11, 2013 at 11:06 AM
So when is national snow awareness month?
Posted by: Kerrie | February 11, 2013 at 11:04 AM
No sooner had I typed my earlier reply, and I came across this image in my Facebook News Feed that says it plainly... although we got more than 24" in our neighborhood. It all depends on where the band settles for any particular length of time.
Surely someone can make another CDC comparison here, right? :D
Posted by: Hannah Elise | February 11, 2013 at 10:47 AM
Kim, why are you writing this article -- you're not a meteorologist!
It's not a snowstorm unless it's been published in the New England Journal of Meteorology.
Snowing is meteorogically predisposed -- the snowstorm is not environmental.
Your neighbor would have died anyway -- obviously an old mother, or else SHE would have been outside shoveling the snow.
When she went outside in the cold to shovel, then she would be called a Refrigerator Mother.
Go outside, Kim, away from the computer -- staying indoors is causing you to watch too much television!
Posted by: Teri | February 11, 2013 at 10:23 AM
After 100s of millions of dollars, the CDC can now say with certainty that the alarming rate of snow has a 40 to 60% meteorological cause. Other contributing factors may be environmental as well.
Posted by: Christine Thompson | February 11, 2013 at 10:18 AM
The committee has recommended that a vaccine be developed so that you see the snow as a "dusting."
It will be put on the schedule tomorrow and be available within a week. No testing will be done and will advise that pregnant women take the vaccine.
Posted by: Kevin | February 11, 2013 at 09:36 AM
Stop complaining and just be thankful that there are no cars on the freeways and your kids are not rewinding Sesame Street. Oh, and by the way, did you know they've changed the diagnosis for snow: It has to be white with yellow streaks, higher than 5 feet, and too wet for snowballs and snowmen and snowwomen.
Posted by: Maurine Meleck | February 11, 2013 at 09:06 AM
The CDC has now re-defined "foot to mean yard" as they have been measuring wrong for years...
Looks like about a foot of snow in Fairfield County.
Posted by: cmo | February 11, 2013 at 08:57 AM
There are plenty of studies (funded by the National Association of Snow Plow Operators). Although I can't recall any of them now they all prove that snow plows do not cause drivable streets.
Posted by: Jim Thompson | February 11, 2013 at 08:56 AM
But, of course, if autism was snow it would melt despite anything the bureaucrats said.
The trouble with bureacrats is that policy becomes their truth, and it does in whatever field they work in.
Posted by: John Stone | February 11, 2013 at 08:34 AM
Posted by: John Gilmore | February 11, 2013 at 08:34 AM
Kim .. you nailed it.
When July finally arrives .. that "new committee" will proudly proclaim THEIR "improved measuring" is responsible for the clear streets.
Posted by: Bob Moffitt | February 11, 2013 at 06:18 AM