Lately it can feel like we’ve somehow accidentally opened a portal to the heart of the sun.
Unfortunately, heat waves are getting stronger and more common today, thanks to climate change. According to this article by The Guardian, a third of the world is at risk of dangerous heat waves today. While heat waves are hitting us more frequently now than in the past, 100 years ago people still had to deal with the occasional temperature spike. How did they do it?
The pictures from then show how people coped in ways as surprising as they are relatable.
Here are 20 examples of what I mean:
1. Need ice? That’s going to require a little more muscle power than just walking over to your freezer.
2. Back then, ice didn’t come in plastic bags from a freezer outside 7-Eleven. You had to get it delivered.
This photo’s from 1911, just a couple years before the first electrically-powered home refrigerators hit the scene. Before then, the ice box was literally that — a box kept cool by giant chunks of ice.
3. Of course, once you carry that load of ice in, you have to have a little sit. Sometimes on it. With an ice cream.
4. At some point, you decide your fashion sense is less important than keeping cool.
5. Wet pants are a small price to pay for a chance to go wading.
6. And everybody’s gonna need a hat.
7. Edwardian gentlemen know to act normally even if one is sweltering in a suit and bow tie. For comfort, one may remove one’s jacket only.
8. If you’ve ever lived anywhere super dry, you know all about spraying the driveway to keep the dust down.
9. Or taking an extra bath to cool off before bed.
10. Summer is the perfect time to take a day off and hit the beach with your friends.
11. And everyone else’s friends too, apparently.
12. At some point, it’s hot enough to ignore the signs and just jump in a public fountain.
13. And live your whole life in the water.
14. Literally — your whole life.
15. Summer is the time when swimwear becomes daywear then eveningwear.
16. No matter what you’re wearing, lounge around in general. It’s too damn hot to do anything else.
17. Get some sun.
18. Of course, in a heat wave, you’ve got to make sure to watch our for your animal friends too.
19. Especially if that means letting them join for a dip.
20. Or making sure they’ve got the right accessories.
As the Earth gets warmer, heat waves are likely to increase in both frequency and strength, so take a page from these summer-sun veterans and play it safe.
Drink plenty of water. Keep an eye out for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Try to do outside chores in the morning or evening, when it tends to be less hot, if you can.
And keep an eye out for tricky reporters and cameras because, who knows, in 100 years, you might end up on a list just like this one.