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Matt Zaffino dishes on time and survival in time in latest podcast episode

KGW meteorologist Matt Zaffino offers hope to those in isolation by sharing some real-life, jaw dropping stories of survival from the past
Credit: kgw
Under the Big Umbrella with Matt Zaffino

PORTLAND, Ore. — Today, I'd like to talk to you about time, and survival in time, because a lot of us feel like we're just surviving this time of the coronavirus. So, I thought it'd be fun to look back at some other examples of survival and periods of long time where people have been left to their own devices. It's been two months since many of us began this new reality of life in quarantine, work from home, home school, not seeing friends and family, and all the other restrictions on life as we used to know it, and honestly, it's getting a little old, right? I mean, cabin fever, the urge to socialize and connect, are becoming stronger and stronger the longer this lasts. I mean, a person can only persevere on video chats and Netflix for so long, right?

Two months. It's been two months, going on three. It seems like a long time in isolation, but hey, Tom Hanks was stuck on that island with just Wilson for four years and he made it back, right? 

So, this got me thinking about some other examples of human isolation and survival in difficult times, and in researching this, I'm totally awestruck by the strength of will, the determination and the creativity that people summoned to survive difficult circumstances, and often times, all alone. Now, the longest time I've ever spent alone, totally alone, is five days on a backpacking trip in the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming, but that was by choice. I had food, I had water, I had shelter, and still, by the end of it, I was more than ready to rejoin society, after what seemed like a long time alone in the wilderness. And my cat took off and lived on his own for three and a half months, and he made it back, and so will we. 

Download the latest Under the Big Umbrella podcast episode to learn about:

  • José Salvador Alvarenga the Mexican fisherman that holds the record for the longest solo survival at sea. 
  • Russian doctor, Leonid Rogozov, who served in Antarctica for two years. who performed his own appendectomy when he got appendicitis.
  • Aron Ralston, who had to cut his own hand off in the Utah Wilderness. 
  • Ada Blackjack, who literally fought off polar bears and survived on seal meat until a rescue team found her.

It's been two months. It's going to be longer before we can all gather in some form or another, but we can do this. It took Frodo and Sam six months to destroy the ring after they left the Shire. You know what? We'll defeat this enemy, too. Hang in there. 

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