With temperatures dipping to single digits or below zero Fahrenheit in many parts of the country American homeowners bemoan their neglect to winterize, weather-strip, draft stop, staring at their higher heating bills. But don’t be too hard on yourself. You may be paying for better health.
Until the middle of the last century Koreans stayed indoors for months, battening down the hatches as soon as the winter laid siege, proud to emerge in the spring with their “white skin” restored. This was pre-Caucasophilia (see Caucasian Mutation of Korean Faces, 4-4-2015, typakmusings.com), before the country opened up in a hurry to the outside world with the avalanche of American troops, mostly Caucasian, during the Korean War (1950-53), and of Western technology, economy, and culture afterwards, which reinforced the traditional obsession with white skin, the emblem of aristocracy, freedom from manual labor under the scorching sun.
Of course they didn’t know any better about their wonderful winter-reclaimed pallor, an unmistakable symptom of incipient hypoxemia, low oxygen in blood, due to the poor indoor air quality, and paid for it with tuberculosis and other diseases, dying young.
Let’s not have that Korean “winter pallor” in enlightened America. Winterize by all means but ventilate by opening a window or two for a few minutes a day.