With Mark Haywood
March came in with sunshine,
low temperatures, and typical leonine winds.
With March, also came the noticeably longer days.
Waking just before first light to hear birds singing
and easing into the day is a springtime pleasure.
This first light was happening before 6 a.m. Hearing
the bugle for flag-lowering at the Naval Hospital
took place as the sun set shortly after 6 p.m. in
the evening. Then, dinner at dark.
On March 12 this all changed with a setting forward
of the clock for Daylight Saving Time. One develops
jet lag without leaving Norfolk. Spring forward,
as an expression has a happy ring. In practice it
creates havoc and misery. Gone are the birds in
the morning as one arises in the dark where once
there was light. Present is the dull headache, slight
nausea, and disorientation of a flight across country.
Late for appointments, oversleeping, and meals off-schedule
are other common side-effects of the time change.
If you were to read these side-effects before taking
a prescription or an OTC medicine you would pass
on taking it.
Humans are confused. Dogs and cats still follow
their internal clocks. Canines and felines continue
to expect meals, time outside, and walks to follow
the passage of the sun from east to west. Meanwhile,
humans contemplate hours to avoid intense sun exposure
by translating Eastern Daylight Time back to Eastern
Why do we go through this time change each year?
Daylight Saving Time was first implemented in 1916
during World War I by Germany as an energy-saving
measure. England quickly followed and the United
States succumbed to the DST practice in 1918. Agriculture
areas fought the time change in this country since
farmers work and cows are ready to be milked by
the sun, not the clock. After the war standard time
returned. World War II saw the resumption of the
time-change fiasco, again in the name of energy-saving.
Studies have shown a possible, insignificant, one
percent energy-saving. DST was abolished three weeks
after World War II ended only to be resumed on a
uniform basis in 1966. Arizona and Hawaii are the
only states wise enough to pass on the annual torture.
Are we really fooled by the twice-yearly messing
with the clock? Definitely not, but this war-time
folly is perpetuated and each year we suffer. But
I, not in silence.