One of my commenters asked if it was true that the Full moon affected people so much that the local hospital had to hire extra night staff every month. There have been scientific studies to disprove this, and I have never worked in a hospital that hired extra staff on the basis of the phases of the moon.
But it did get me thinking about the effects that the weather has upon people, because in my experience this does have an appreciable effect.
When I was teaching children, we would dread days when it was windy, because we knew that the children would be more active, and more prone to be disobedient, another of my commenters said exactly the same thing, so I know it wasn’t a local phenomenon.
It works for adults too – I’m much busier on windy days, and while this is just my impression, I always seem to think that there are also many more assaults.
If the weather is grey and overcast, we tend to go to more old folk who are sitting indoors, or more commonly, falling over indoors. Sometimes you get the impression that they just want someone to talk to – or to not be alone. There also seem to be more suicide attempts as well – and it is fairly well known that suicide rates go up in springtime. So on those rainy spring days you end up seeing a lot of Paracetamol overdoses.
Spring and Autumn rains (and in England, Summer rains) bring with them car vs car collisions, as an infrequent rain lifts off the layer of rubber and pollution left on the road by passing cars and the roads become a skid pan. Fallen leaves on the road don’t help, and neither do the effects of the rapidly changing hours of daylight on a drivers bodyclock.
Ice on the streets means that we will be going to plenty of “Nan Down!” calls, little old ladies falling over. When working in the hospitals I remember one icy day where I personally dealt with 23 elderly people with broken wrists caused by falling on the ice.
When the weather is sunny, there can also be chaos on the streets – this Sunday had really nice, sunny weather, the kind of weather you only seem to remember from your childhood. East London has a lot of narrow residential streets, with cars parked nose to tail on both sides of the road. If these streets are ‘quiet’ then children tend to forget that cars do occasionally travel down them (thankfully not often at any speed).
So this Sunday there were more than the usual number of children being hit by cars, I went to one where a six year old had run out between two parked cars and been struck. He had a minor head wound, and complained of neck pain, so I put a hard collar on him and when the ambulance crew turned up we did a full restraint. He was an excellent patient – normally I can’t stand kids, but he was exceptionally brave, and when I explained about the collar, he was happy to have it on because he seen them in use on the television…
There was also a (well behaved) crowd of about 30 people standing around, and when the police turned up they got people out the way by saying “I know it’s a cliche but, please move along there is nothing to see…”
It’s a good job I don’t get performance anxiety.
The hot weather also brings out the people who start drinking at lunchtime, and continue throughout the day, tie this in with a lot of sporting fixtures, and we find ourselves going to a lot of fights in a lot of pubs.
Oh, and for the people who got stuck heading Westbound on the A13 yesterday at around 15:00 – it was because there had been an accident and HEMS was blocking the road. While I didn’t stop and look (I was too busy trying not to get hit by the people who did want to see what was happening) I did get the impression that it might have been a pedestrian trying to cross this six lane major road who then got hit.