x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Here comes the sun

'Too much of a good thing is wonderful," the legendary Hollywood actress Mae West once said. It is arguable, however, whether the rapier-tongued diva would still have the same opinion had she spent a few hours waiting for a taxi under the scorching mid-summer UAE sun.

As we reported yesterday, residents of the Emirates are apparently afflicted by an inverted variety of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) after being trapped indoors during the intolerable heat of the summer. Barring the bravest, or the most masochistic, most people tend to stay indoors as temperatures reach as high as 50°C. SAD generally affects residents of countries with very cold temperatures and short daylight hours. Lack of exposure to sunlight leads to Vitamin D deficiency, which can lead to depression.

Paradoxically, people under the sunlight for more 350 days a year can suffer equally from SAD, made prisoners in their own homes by the heat.

Regardless of the personal reasons why people fall into depression, lack of sunlight should not be one of them. There are hours, like early morning or around sunset, where the temperatures are low enough, where you can escape the self-imposed imprisonment.

The summer will soon be upon us so perhaps the best advice is to go out and enjoy it while you can. The prospect of five months of sweltering sunshine ahead provide their own reasons to be sad.