March 29, 2019

Just Saying…

By Q.C. Jones

Spring Fever strikes again…

Ah finally, well at least maybe, Spring is here. While it’s mighty hard to gage your take on the past few month’s weather, your pal and cool correspondent, QC Jones, is pretty happy to see the change. My guess is the winter of 2018-19 will be the one the kiddos talk about once they ripen and reach our age.

Even though the vocal cords have yet to produce the vibration, my mind is following future conversations. Some kiddo will ask, “Grandpa Rhett how were the winters when you were little?” Gramps of the future, we’ll call him Rhett, will provide this long-winded response: “Well, they were real winters. I remember the Great Winter of 2019 as the worst. Every day we had temperatures below zero. It must have snowed at least a foot each day. It was so bad they canceled school for the entire month of January. My Pa said you could yell out the window and watch the words freeze in mid-air.”

It truly has been the winter from Hades. All mental suffering, strife and struggle were washed away with the giant snow pile at the end of the drive. As I pound out this bit of journalistic marvel, Spring is in the air and I feel different.

Anyone care to join me for a quick case of Spring Fever?

A dash of sunshine and a couple of quick snorts of 60 plus temperature and my mood has changed. After what felt like an eternity, I started thinking about the yard, bicycles and, ever so briefly, running in the Bix. I have a goofy grin on my face, a strange feel in the very core of my body and soul. I am proclaiming it to be Spring Fever.

Is this Spring Fever really a thing? Recalling some dead poets lament, Spring is the time for “Amore.” But, don’t confuse Amore with Louis L’Amour the great writer of cowboy novels so popular with the old guys who hung around the Texaco station where I grew up. Instead we’re talking feelings of the heart. Getting this train back on track and going back to our original question:. Is there a scientific basis for this thing called Spring Fever?

According to an article in Scientific American (SA), “Studies show that sexual behavior in mammals follows a seasonal pattern, one that promotes survival. In fact, researchers discovered that birth spikes in field mice are more significant the farther the mice are from the equator, as seasons become more pronounced.” Could it be those poor unfortunate souls living in a tropical paradise miss out on Spring Fever?

Getting specific on humans, SA says, “Since the mid-1980s researchers have focused on the seasonal effect on moods, with the emergence of a diagnostic label for winter depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD).” Could it be we are not really happier when Spring hits but instead just feeling the swing from Winter onset depression?

There are other theories about this thing called Spring Fever. According to an article in Emergency Medicine News, “Illness struck patients in the springtime for centuries, rendering them weak with joint swelling, loose teeth, and poorly healing wounds. The name given this disease of listlessness and weakness was Spring Disease or Spring Fever…” This article points to the depletion of vitamin C in the human body based on a poor diet during the winter months. Until recently, there was no easy way to bring fresh produce to the masses.

Potential cures for Spring Fever

Thinking further about the whole vitamin thing, a couple of the accidental sources of vitamin C were apples and cabbage, both could be easily stored over the winter months. The old saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” could very well be tied to the fact apples are a source of vitamin C. The fine doctor authoring this article makes a point to say: “Johnny Appleseed, who supposedly planted apple orchards across the United States, could have been one of the major public health figures of his time, and his work may have enabled the settlement of the trans-Appalachian region in the 19th Century.” Maybe Mr. Appleseed was sick of Spring Fever.

Going back to the cabbage thing, and reviewing my pre-St. Paddy’s Day shopping list, one might wonder if a massive dose of corned beef and cabbage isn’t another cure for Spring Fever. Based on the pile of cabbage down at the local Schnuck’s, I am guessing a lot of folks will soon be cured.

One parting thought on curing Spring Fever

One of the earliest dashes of color to appear across our QCA landscape will be the bright yellow flowers of the Dandelion plant. Most of us see this as a noxious weed, but did you know the seeds for this flower was actually carried to the New World by the Pilgrims. Yep, sure enough the Dandelion was noted as a cure for Spring Fever and a serving of Dandelion Greens contains nearly 60 percent of your daily dose of vitamin C as well as vitamin A and K. Soon we’ll be forgetting Spring and cussing the Dandelions. Just saying…

Filed Under: History, Humor