Daylight saving time is always a welcome reprieve from long Washington winters. This year, after the darkest days of Covid-19 to date, the March 14 changing of the clocks feels like it might save us.
We were lucky, if that word could ever be used to describe the events of 2020, to enter the pandemic on the heels of a time switch. Jay Inslee announced our stay-home orders two weeks into post-7pm sunsets. Outdoor exercise was still considered an "essential activity," and those early days are marked, in my mind, by post-work walks along the ship canal and zig-zag jogs from sidewalk to sidewalk.
In normal times, seasonal depression—a big problem in our notoriously gray state—is exacerbated by the lack of light associated with falling back. Imagine if in the depths of lockdown the sun had set at 5 or 6.
That was the case this fall, when our November return to standard time coincided with an upward tick in Covid-19 cases. Two weeks after our sunny evenings were cut short, our state was hit with another rollback: No more indoor social gatherings with anyone outside your household. No more indoor dining at restaurants and bars (and this was before the great cold weather patio awakening). Another quarantine, this time without the depression-dampening aid of the sun.
But now there's a light at the end of the tunnel: One week after we spring forward, the entire state will move to Phase 3. And when 9,000 masked and socially distanced fans pile into T-Mobile Park for Mariners opening day, the sun will still be shining.