Winter affliction hits home

The Note gets barraged by attention-seeking companies who’ve dressed up public relations exercises as research – usually in the form of a spurious survey designed to grab a headline. Normally we file this nonsense appropriately but this week we fell for one – but only because the people at a company (that will remain nameless) managed to go one better than just cooking up an unnecessary survey. They actually introduced a new disease to Australia, which is quite a step up for this sort of thing. Here are the outstanding results: “On average 28.9 per cent of workers find they are badly affected by the shorter days and lack of exposure to daylight,” stated the release. “But it is women who suffer more than men, with 30.6 per cent expressing difficulties in coping through the depths of winter.” “The effects of SAD* – insomnia, inability to concentrate, withdrawal from social contacts and so forth can be very debilitating for the sufferer.” Naturally, employers were told to be wary of SAD and nursemaid workers through this dreadful period that we all know as winter. And what is SAD? Apparently, it’s Seasonal Affective Disorder and (we actually did some research on this) it’s a real issue, affecting real people. However, we also found that the people afflicted by SAD lived within the Arctic Circle, where they don’t see the sun for several months, and are unlikely to be found at the end of a phone line in Australia, no matter how much they might whinge about the weather making them late for work. The Note reckons applying this condition to WA is to stretch the imagination a little – then again, this is public relations we are talking about. Maybe that’s what a lack of vitamin D does to you?

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