What Do You Do During a Polar Vortex?

The Midwest Endures Dangerous Temperatures

 By Joe Kelly

A few weeks ago, we all experienced the dramatic shutdown of the University of Minnesota, courtesy of a record-breaking polar vortex. Students quarantined themselves in their dorms and apartments, lecture halls closed, and by Wednesday, most employees were excused from work, leaving the streets and paths of campus barren. 

But what do you do during a cold snap? You could stay inside all day, watching Netflix, playing video games, sleeping, and above all, not studying. However, not everybody was content with staying inside.

Illustration by Bri de Danann

Illustration by Bri de Danann

According to the Star Tribuneand the Minnesota Daily, both the Timberwolves and Gophers women’s basketball still held and won games against Memphis and Northwestern University, respectively, on Jan. 31. The Wolves brought out more than 13,000 fans while the Gophers brought more than 9,000—hardly an insignificant feat. Sports fans and athletes weren’t the only ones who braved mother nature. According to the Star Tribune,a group of southern Minneapolis residents relaxed in their outdoor sauna where it reached 190 degrees despite the surrounding 20 below zero weather. Even the Mall of America provided relief to thousands of people, while WCCO reported that the only spot unoccupied was, unsurprisingly, the outdoor skating rink.

These dangerous temperatures failed to inhibit individuals from taking community action. KARE 11 covered a story about a Methodist Church in Minneapolis that stayed open for 24 hours to shelter over 60 people. According to CBS News, a woman in Chicago, with a little help from social media, was able to pay for 60 hotel rooms to house homeless people before the worst of the cold.

            Although the frigid cold disrupted numerous school, city, and work functions, it was no match for some impassioned individuals. Whether they are loyal fans or compassionate Chicagoans, it’s inspiring to know there are still those who stick around to provide warmth, even in the deadliest of temperatures.

Wake Mag