How can outdoor workers relieve suffering in the cold winter?
In central Illinois, the temperature is below zero, before the cold. Some people who work outdoors find creative ways to reduce their pain.
ARI SHAPIRO, host:
Today, a winter storm brings snow to Tallahassee, Florida – the first measurable snowfall since 1989. Forecasters expect the storm to be over the east coast, potentially dangerous in strong winds and snow. Parts of the country for a few days have been struggling in the cold weather – minus 19 of indiana, south Dakota below 32, Illinois, the following 15, it’s not too cold. Reporter Christina Herman is out in Illinois and has no choice but to speak to the cold.
CHRISTINE HERMAN, wired: when I met Aaron McQuillan in his mail, it was 8 degrees outside. A few inches of snow and ice cover the ground outside the champagne house in central Illinois. McQuillan is in the middle of his line.
AARON MCQUILLAN: I got my kit here. I got the shoe clip. I got the heating pad and I was talking about a handbag that didn’t actually exist. I stayed at home
HERMAN: it looks like he can use Kleenex because his nose is running. Today, to fight the cold, he wore a knit cap with a USPS logo and hooded sweatshirt and a heavy winter coat with another hat. He wore a thick snow glove on his left hand, but on his right, he wore a thin glove.
Hermann: on the other side of town, I was in the wal-mart parking lot to catch Seth Welles. The cart is hidden in the corral with a fine layer of snow and ice. Will’s job was to move the cold wheelbarrow from the outside. He was pushing dozens of cars stuck in the snow.
SETH WILLS: it’s hard to do that in the snow, but you just need to know what you’re doing, where you’re going, and you want to find a car.
HERMAN: Welles is wearing a green knit ski mask with only his eyes – that’s all. Even though he had just begun his eight-hour shift, his breathing had already congealed on his mask, forming ice in the area that covered his mouth. He wore steel toe boots and three pairs of socks, and he was still in the cold war.
Wales: I had to work today because I didn’t choose to. Either I’m fired or I can’t be fired.
Ireland: not far from the wal-mart parking lot. He was with Andy’s tow truck company in the middle of his expected 13-hour shift. He got his first phone call at five o ‘clock this morning and slipped his glove on his hand. He tried to drive a car.
LEROY GATSON: try to skip him – the battery is dead.
Gateson: I just like to help people.
Herman: across the Midwest, there are a lot of people who need help today, because at least a dozen people have died in extreme cold, and the unusually long temperatures below zero have persisted. For NPR news, I’m Christine Herman from Champaign, Illinois.