A different world

Published 4:34 pm Tuesday, February 27, 2018

After working from 3 a.m. to 8 a.m. one night (day?) gathering information for three articles to appear in the Profiles Magazine titled, “24 hours in Bainbridge,” I have a new appreciation for people who work at night.

As I drove to the Memorial Hospital Emergency Room for a 3 a.m. appointment, I had the strange sensation that I was the only person left on earth. All houses and businesses were dark and there was no traffic on the streets. It just felt weird.

The ER staff of RN’s and Dr. Suratt, all were wide awake and functioning on all levels. The nursing staff’s usual work schedule is 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., six days a week; then they are off eight days. Their bio-rhythms and internal clocks must be really out of whack. Yet, they have done this for years, and seem well adjusted to it.

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One night put my inner clock in turmoil for two days.

Then, riding in the school bus beginning at 5:45 a.m. was a real eye-opener. (no pun intended. ) The bus traveled down Route 27 South all the way to the Florida line, picking up the first student at 6:05 a.m.

Students continued to appear out of the darkness, where a flashlight signaled a waiting student. They all looked so tired and sleepy as they filed in and found a seat. Judging from the quietness, they must have either gone to sleep or they were in a daze. As the bus proceeded on its rounds, daylight slowly arrived and the bus literally began to come alive, especially when a group of small children livened up the bus with much giggling and teasing.

Somehow, it doesn’t seem right to me that children must get up before dawn, dress and get to the bus stop and wait in total darkness for at least five minutes before being picked up. Then comes the long ride to the school.

Many studies have been conducted with the conclusion that students, especially high school age, learn better when the school day begins later. They just are not getting enough sleep. As a result of those findings, many school districts have changed their schedules and are starting the school day later.

My hat is off to those who can function before dawn. I am not one of them, but thank God there are those who can, especially those in law enforcement, the medical field and school bus drivers.

Oh, and I cannot leave out those who begin making donuts at 3:30 a.m. ready for sale   at 5 a.m. They apparently provide sugar-powered fuel for those who must work all night.