Sunshine is in short supply across a swathe of north-west Europe, shrouded in heavy cloud from a seemingly never-ending series of low pressure systems since late November and suffering one of its darkest winters since records began.
If you live in Brussels, 10 hours and 31 minutes was your lot for the entire month of December. The all but benighted inhabitants of Lille in France got just two hours, 42 minutes through the first half of January.
There is a good reason why Northern Europeans tend to have paler skin. Possibly even reasons and this is one of them. We need sunlight to produce Vitamin D. Less sunshine means we need to make better use of what we get – paler skins in climes with less sunshine.
We’ve had a recent influx of those with darker skins – plus, among some of those at least, an inclination for one of the sexes not to show bare skin while outside.
No, this is not to then insist that darkies must stay where darkies thrive. Well, OK, anyone can say anything they like but no, not me. However, there are interesting implications of this.
For example, we have been told of a recent rise in the incidence of rickets in the UK. This is then attributed to austerity. That’s certainly possible. Not that we’ve had any austerity but still. The progressive impoverishment to the point of destitution of the populace could indeed produce an increase in the rate of rickets. But then so could an influx of people richer in melanin to our northern climes – especially if people aren’t changing their behaviour about body swathing to take account of this solar deficiency.
My point being well, that rise in rickets incidence. Is it due to poverty or migration? Rather an important question as no, we don’t want the kiddies to suffer rickets so we need to know the answer so that we can prevent that. If it’s poverty then perhaps we really do have to overthrow neoliberal globalisation in order to cure it. If it’s migration then perhaps all we need to do is tell people to take a 10 minute walk outside without a head covering on those rare occasions the Sun does shine?