Did you really need to go out in all that snow?

Did you ever sit during a snowstorm with a scanner humming in the background?
Why do people bother to go out on the roads when they’re a mess? It isn’t as though they’ve never seen snow before.
It’s not that snow is terrifying or the worst thing in the world, but it comes – without fail – winter after winter.
And every year, people act like idiots.
They decide they just HAVE TO head down to the grocery store for a dozen eggs instead of altering the recipe.
They just HAVE TO get out for that haircut today, of all days, or make a run downtown to get the mail.
There are some people who have to go out, I’ll grant you that. Nursing staff can’t exactly decide the patients can wait. And we at the paper – well, we can’t put off publishing by a day.
But there are businesses that stay open only to lose money on the electric because, well, they just can’t NOT open. Or can they?
We live in a fast-paced, must-do-it-all society. But, believe it or not, things can wait. Life will go on.
We don’t need to be afraid of snow, but people need to learn a healthy respect for it. They need to learn that there’s a difference between “I have to go out today” and “I want to go out today” or “I have to open my business and require my employees to drive in this mess” and “It just feels strange not to.”
I’d enjoy a day in myself . . . and a quiet one at that, no scanner buzzing.
Considering last week’s column topic – the impending ban on lead and phthalates in all children’s products and its potentially devastating affects on thrift shops – I’d like to think I make the government stand up and listen.
But considering most of my railing falls on deaf ears, I’ll just chalk this one up to excellent timing.
A few days after the column appeared in the Democrat, the Consumer Product Safety Commission officially appended its Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.
Thrift shops are safe.
A clarification issued on Jan. 8 states, “The new safety law does not require resellers to test children’s products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold. However, resellers cannot sell children’s products that exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties.”
So – as long as it hasn’t tested for toxic nasties, it can stay on the shelves. Phewww.

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