How much do you rely on government agencies to tell you how to get through your day? One would hope that most of us can function without daily instructions from politicians and bureaucrats. But one must also wonder if this is truly the case. How else do we explain the government’s need to remind us to wear our sunglasses?

Donning a pair of shades seems like common sense. If the sun bothers your eyes, your natural inclination is to do something about it. Whether you block the sun with a pair of sunglasses or a wide-brimmed hat is a matter of individual choice. As for protecting the eyes against UV rays, we all know the story. A person not worried about UV radiation is not going to suddenly throw on a pair of sunglasses just because someone at the National Weather Service put out a bulletin telling them to.

The Sunglasses Advisory

This piece was prompted by a post appearing in the Burlington Free Press in early January 2021. That post discussed a weather bulletin put out by the National Weather Service detailing conditions over the next several days. The bulletin allegedly said that “it’s time to break out the sunglasses.” It went on to discuss “sneaky winter hazards that can make it very difficult to see at times.”

The bulletin even included an infographic of sorts. Believe it or not, the infographic went so far as to point out sun glare as though it can’t be seen with the naked eye. It offered safety tips including slowing down (while driving) and using sunglasses and the cars’ visor to combat glare.

It’s sort of troubling to wonder if there are drivers on the road who actually need this sort of information. Aren’t such things so fundamental that one should know them before even getting a driver’s license? Who doesn’t know that sun glare can make driving more difficult? Who doesn’t have the brains to use the visor when sun glare becomes a problem?

Too Much Time on Their Hands

Let’s at least try to be optimistic here. Let us assume that the average American adult is smart enough to know when to buy a pair of sunglasses. Let’s assume that the person or persons responsible for the aforementioned weather bulletin and accompanying infographic simply have too much time on their hands. After all, the winter months can get pretty boring for meteorologists when there aren’t any polar vortices to talk about.

Having too much time on their hands is the only reasonable explanation for weather bulletins telling people it is time to break out the shades. We already know to do that. Perhaps those responsible could make better use of their time by not stopping with such simple bulletins. If they want to be helpful, they could do some market research for us.

Let them compare prices between Salt Lake City’s Olympic Eyewear and Italy’s Luxottica. Let them compare quality, features, colors, and styles. Then they can recommend the perfect pair of designer sunglasses for sunny days in Vermont and beach vacations at North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Have we become so dependent on the government that we need the good people at the National Weather Service advising us about when to wear sunglasses? This writer sincerely hopes not. If we have, there really is no hope for the survival of humanity. If we don’t have enough brains to put on a pair of sunglasses when that yellow ball in the sky is bearing down on us, we are likely going to be the death of ourselves in short order.