A Polar Vortex Is Nothing Until You Have To Work Outside

Deep Freeze
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

How cold is it? So cold that in some areas people can blow bubbles outside and see them freeze, according to NPR. So cold that the planet Mars has had some warmer daily temperatures than parts of northern Minnesota, as Smithsonian.com reports. It's so cold that Anana, a polar bear at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, had to stay inside, as Chicagoist noted. Wild bears put on a thick layer of fat, but ones in captivity don't get the extra padding because a city like Chicago rarely faces the arctic blasts that have chilled much of the country and spawned the new city nickname "Chiberia".

According to a Chicago Tribune story, there were workers staying home on Monday, peppering social media with the hashtag #adultsnowday. But even though some people, and bears, get to stay indoors, many don't have the option. They not only have to work, but do so outside. Parking meter readers still hand out tickets. Movers carry people's furniture and belongings. Farmers milk the cows and construction workers still build. The world may get stiff from the cold, but it doesn't stop spinning. Or leaking.