A light at the end of time change

As the date for my birthday approached this year, I grew more and more excited. What would be my present this year, I wondered.

Then I found out. The weekend of my birthday was set for daylight saving time.

Readers of this column know I cannot stand changing the time back and forth for daylight saving time. I have no preference for one or the other, I just want the jumping around to stop.

Some people I talk to do not feel like they are affected by springing forward or falling back.

Not me.

I feel lingering effects for weeks after we change the time. My rhythm is knocked off kilter, not that I had much rhythm to begin with.

As I have noted in a previous column. There are a bunch of side effects and unintended consequences of changing the time.

A 2016 study from Finland found the overall rate for strokes was 8 percent higher for two days after the time change, according to a CNN.com story. In addition, cancer victims are 25 percent more likely to have a stroke during the same period, and the elderly have a 20 percent increased chance of a stroke.

There is also a higher rate of absenteeism from work and a higher likelihood of getting into a vehicle accident following each time adjustment.

This year, I was going to do my best to avoid this subject. I felt like I was beating a dead horse, despite the number of people who call or email me in agreement. There are more of us than you think.

Well, the horse is not completely deceased. It is breathing and may even be trying to stand up.

And now I will quit riding the metaphor. (See what I did there.)

I came across a story yesterday where the president dropped a little something for yours truly on Twitter. He wrote, “Making Daylight Saving Time permanent is O.K. with me!” 

What? Has my voice been heard by the White House?

Not quite.

According to USA Today, “On Wednesday, Florida’s Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, along with Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., re-introduced the Sunshine Protection Act, which would make DST permanent nationwide.”

Right now, Hawaii and Arizona do not observe daylight saving time.

In Florida, they passed a state law to stay on daylight saving time permanently. A state cannot do this without congressional approval. California may pass a similar law.

I really don’t care, just pick one and stick with it. Stop the change and you have my full-throated support.

Andy Ashurst is the publisher of the Times-Courier. He can be reached via phone, 706-635-4313, or email, publisher@timescourier.com.

 

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