I've been thinking about the extreme cold in much of the US and Canada, and about some of the discussion of that weather, and wind chill, and how best to report on this sort of extreme weather.
The thing about unusually cold weather is that people aren't used to it. We're used to whatever's normal for where we live; that includes the coldest weather of a typical winter, but not the coldest of a typical decade or more. I used to get a daily paper (Newsday) that ran feature articles every late fall or early winter on "what you need to know about a New York winter, in a page or less." Basic things like wearing gloves, keeping your feet dry, and how to shovel snow safely. The first year I saw that article it surprised me, and then I thought about it: those articles weren't (mostly) a reminder for natives, they were for people who had just moved there from warmer climates, who didn't know what questions to ask. "Where can I buy gloves?" assumes that the person knows they should.
And remembering that reminded me of a winter almost twenty years ago. I was visiting Jo in Swansea, as was fivemack. Jo's 11-year old son Sasha, fivemack, and I went for a walk along the beach, while Jo and rysmiel sat in a cafe. It was a cold day, but not bitterly cold, and I didn't worry about Sasha saying he was cold. Then he said he was too warm, and I said "we're going back now." Sasha and fivemack didn't argue, and we walked back into town. I led them into the first open shop, where we walked idly around, warming up, before going to the cafe where Jo and rysmiel were. Somewhere, I'd read about that feeling of being too hot as a warning sign of hypothermia, and knew what to do.