2022 Heat Wave strikes again

July 2022. Another heat wave. Recall last year 2021, when hundreds of older residents here on Vancouver Island died, caused by this heat.

How can one get a heat stroke ? That’s a good one. Normally that shouldn’t be happening. If the right precautions are followed.

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body can no longer control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. When heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106°F (41C) or higher within 10 to 15 minutes.

[Difference: Stroke – Heat stroke: Heat stroke is when your body overheats and core body temperature rises. Stroke is when a blood vessel to the brain bursts or is blocked by a clot. ]. Of course, both can occur with heart patients who already suffer from cardiovascular disease.

Prevention, prevention, prevention. When it is hot, no wind, temperature above 40C for days, or even weeks, then PREVENTION is the answer for SURVIVAL.

The minimum one can do is to keep the body temperature in check, cool down – not only with drinking water from the inside, but also cool the body down from the outside.

What I do is, always wear a cotton scarf around my neck, soaked in cold water. Repeat every hour on the hour or when needed, more. If the body temperature rises even more, soak a cotton T-shirt in cold water, and wear it. You can’t believe how quickly your body cools down and thanks you for it.

CYCLING – safety and tips

It is a well known fact that cyclists sharing a road with motorized vehicles and have a run-in or collision never win. Precautions can be taken, of which one of the most important ones is COLOUR, according to the mantra “Be Seen/Be Safe”. Bright clothing, such as yellow, hot pink, white and bright, or similar; and more importantly a white front light and a flashing red rear light. When I cycle, out of twenty or more cyclists I meet on the trails maybe one only has bike lights, and they are on. Better invest in a $20 light than loose your life. The second precaution is: “do not only rely on a rear view mirror (if any), but look over your shoulder frequently”. Meaning, do not rely on vehicle drivers paying attention to you as a cyclist. Be prepared ! [Most probably, the only reason that not many more cyclists are run down by cars is, that a car owner likes to avoid getting scratches in his nice paint coat.]
With the current heat wave it is also important to stay cool. A simple thing I do is, have a small scarf/kerchief around my neck, which I soak in cold water frequently. This prevents heat rising to your head and ‘knock you out’. In addition, any T shirt or tank top, also soak in cold water. Around here, we are lucky to find water fountains along the bike trails.