A news presenter on radio has just wasted several precious minutes of air time wibbling about ‘Blue Monday’. Apparently that is today, 18 January 2021.
The slot started off moderately light heartedly but rapidly drooped into the usual misery about the ‘last year’ and how we can all avoid our suicidal depression.
Well I’m not in one.
I’m sure there are some people who are down about life, and I sympathise but there are obviously a lot of people who are not and designating a day at random as ‘the low point of the year’ isn’t helping anyone.
I’d never even heard of ‘Blue Monday’ as a concept until today, and thirty seconds of searching online revealed what I suspected. There is no evidence for this as a real thing at all. It was a creation of a psychologist, Cliff Arnall who was suckered into the idea by Sky Travel in 2004. They were seeking a way of getting people to book holidays early for that summer and used this concept to prod people into parting with their hard earned cash. Arnall has since asked people to ignore the whole thing as irrelevant to real life. But as Dr Frankenstein found out, these monsters are harder to slay than create.
So here we are then on the most depressing day of the year (not). And you would, under the current circumstances, be mad to book a sun packed overseas beach holiday any time soon. So do you end it all now?
Lift your head up and look at the glory of creation. Whether you ascribe the wonders around you to a God, or to a Gaia type concept or to the random chance events of scientific evolution they are pretty amazing and so are you. Your sheer existence is a wondrous victory over chance. Celebrate it.
Vaccines are on the way to offer a hope at least of a path through the Covid-19 minefield for many of us fairly soon so we should bear up under the strain and keep a clear head.
Actually if we are looking for something to be less than happy about, it might be that idea of vaccine rollout.
I am fortunate enough through happy circumstance, nothing to do with me, to live in a rich, self absorbed country, that had the money and opportunity to bung loads of cash relatively early on to pharmaceutical companies and ensure fairly early access to large numbers of doses of these lifelines. But what about the rest of the world? There are billions of people out there who will not have lifesaving vaccines for months, probably years the way things are going. The Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine is being made available to low and middle income countries at cost. Which is great but still expensive and supplies are currently being snapped up by rich ‘first world’ countries before they can rollout to these other needy areas.
So if you want to shake off the imaginary Blue Monday lethargy, write to your MP and suggest we stick a couple of billion in the pot to help pay the ‘cost’ price for our fellow human beings to be safe. And maybe we could build and licence production facilities elsewhere to stop countries rich from the previous exploitation of other countries snaffling all the available doses first?
‘No man is an island…’ and all that.