Keep eclipse lessons in mind for next time

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

How many of you wished you would have taken time off to experience Monday’s eclipse in totality?

Yeah, us too.

But it was a memorable experience in McCook, the street lights came on for a short while and there are photographs of a 360º sunset in our area, although not as dramatic in an area of totality.

Judging from photos in totality compared to our 98 percent, that 2 percent made quite a difference.

There’s suddenly a glut of cardboard eclipse glasses, offered for many dollars by Monday morning, but now virtual trash.

We do hope you used them, however, or enjoyed the sight online or via pinhole camera projection.

Photos of President Trump squinting directly at the sun created a minor uproar, but makes an important point:

It isn’t more damaging to your eyes to stare at the sun during an eclipse than any other day.

The difference is, the partial covering by the moon makes it a lot less painful to look at, damaging your eyes without you feeling it.

If you did damage your eyes, you’ll be experiencing blurry vision any time now, and it will take months to a year for your eyes to return to normal, if they ever do.

A 2001 study looked at 45 British patients who viewed the 1999 solar eclipse, 20 claimed symptoms of affected vision, just five showed damage to their retinas. All five looked at the eclipse for 18 seconds or longer.

You can’t say President Trump or anyone else we know wasn’t warned that it was dangerous to look directly at the sun during the eclipse.

We hope they’ll take the advice to heart and remember it for the next time one comes around.

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