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COLUMN: Not everyone rising to the occasion with 'eclipse fever'

Wendy says she's not embracing same thrill as many others around celestial event April 8; 'My interest in the planets lies mostly in knowing my astrological sign,' she writes
Stock image.

When someone/anyone warns you not to do something, you will definitely want to do it. It's just human nature.

That’s what we will all be dealing with on Tuesday, April 8. It's being billed as the Great North American Eclipse and a once-in-a-lifetime event. reports, “the moon will be in direct line between the sun and the Earth creating a dark, quickly moving shadow on the face of our planet.”

Whatever you do, please do not look directly at the sun. It can permanently damage your eyes. You won’t notice anything right away, but health officials say you could have already done irreparable damage. Looking at the intense light from the sun without proper eye protection can cause retinal burns.

The sale of solar-eclipse glasses is now skyrocketing online.

Experts also suggest calling your local optometrist or public library to see if they are offering free eclipse glasses.

There are a myriad of ideas about how to create protective lenses, but in this case I would not be messing with any DIY projects.

USA Today has reported the case of a Staten Island woman who stared at the 2017 eclipse, with a substandard version of eclipse glasses, and ended up with blurry and colour-distorted vision.

I am going to admit something here: When I first heard about the cancellation of school on that day, I thought it was absolutely ridiculous. My cynical self believed that, instead of cancelling classes, it would have been the perfect time for an education on the event.

Having done more research, though, I now understand and commend both the Simcoe County District School Board and the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District Board for rearranging the calendar and making April 8 a professional activity day.

Now, I understand part of the reason was also the timing. The eclipse will be happening just about the time elementary students would be headed home from school. It will be mid-afternoon, but it will be dark.

The decision was based on consultation with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, too. High school dismissals are before the peak of the eclipse, so the regular school day won’t be affected.

BradfordToday and InnisfilToday affiliate BarrieToday reported in its Feb. 11 edition that the temporary darkness will occur in Simcoe County at 3:18 p.m., and last about one minute and 50 seconds.

According to, the longest the eclipse will last is four minutes and change.

I remember being stuck on a highway in the southern United States during the 2017 eclipse. Everything just slowed to a crawl. Every gas station, restaurant and coffee shop, at each exit, was jam-packed with travellers and eclipse watchers.

Personally, I didn’t see the thrill then or now. My interest in the planets lies mostly in knowing my astrological sign. And I understand when Mercury goes retrograde it means all communications go awry.

Listen, I was a kid who believed the moon was made of green cheese, so all scientific explanations are lost on me. Any latitude or longitude chatter will be met with a dazed expression.

Any of you who are invested in this occurrence are clearly deeper than I.

I hope you enjoy it, but do it safely. We can all take it in via internet and television.

Personally, I won’t be looking skyward. I will keep my curtains closed and my head down.

I don't even want to be tempted to peek.

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About the Author: Wendy King

Wendy King writes about all kinds of things from nutrition to the job search from cats to clowns — anything and everything — from the ridiculous to the sublime. Watch for Wendy's column weekly.
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