It has stopped snowing in Rhode Island as of about 11:30 this morning. The wind has ceased. The snowfall, according to my official measurement of accumulation on the bird bath, is about 10-12 inches. The driveway is plowed. The dogs have been out in the backyard several times. There are very few power outages because the snow has been dry and there is no ice accumulation on trees or wires.
We have a state-wide driving ban. No one who isn’t involved in emergency work or provisions can be on the road at all. In the past, without such restrictions, I’ve been on the road after far worse storms. Restaurants and shops and movies have been open, business has been transacted. Not now. No business.
Mayor de Blasio, in New York, claimed this would be the worst storm in the city’s history down there, and it wasn’t even close (he seems to think everything about and around him is somehow “special”). They predicted up here it would be the worst blizzard in Rhode Island history. Not close.
I’m all for public safety, and we haven’t had a single road accident of any note, apparently, which happens when you take all the cars off the roads. But I’m reminded of the lawyers who would tell you, when you ask these archly conservative people how to reduce risk the most, “Don’t open for business.” The fact that you can’t survive that way doesn’t deter their advice, which is simply to make sure there is zero risk.
Yet it’s not a zero-risk world. All day, every TV network up here is broadcasting repetitive, redundant, hackneyed news about the storm. We need some of the information, but not from everyone, all the time. But the media and the government seem to want to demonstrate that they’re earning their money.
The snow is beautiful. The loss of freedom? Not so much.
© Alan Weiss 2015