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Spring Fever Hits Utahns

Spring Fever Hits Utahns

Posted - Mar. 16, 2004 at 4:49 p.m.

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John Hollenhorst ReportingAs Bob Dylan said, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." And you certainly don't need an anchorman to tell you the weather outside is fabulous. But we're gonna tell you anyway-- spring, or something like it, has sprung.

The arrival of spring isn't just a change in the weather; it changes people too. There's a sort of mass personality transplant as we turn the corner from cabin fever to spring fever.

Whether your thing is walking the dog, flying a kite, jogging in the park, or hugging the back of a bike in a bikini, you almost certainly like the change in weather.

Irene Kikkert, Salt Lake County: “I love it. It’s wonderful out there.”

Irene Kikkert is one of thousands who jammed into home improvement and garden stores in the last few days.

Thom Sewell, Lowe's Home Improvement: “Everybody’s kind of got that cabin fever and wanting to get out. And we’re all looking forward to spring, I think.”

According to legend, the change from cabin fever to spring fever causes people to re-evaluate old relationships. Break-up, they say, or make-up and get married. Maybe so, jewelry stores and bridal shops are reporting the annual spring surge in business.

Kathleen Sacco, O. C. Tanner: “There’s a little jump during Valentine’s Day. And then all of a sudden, it really just kind of pops!”

Most of us feel better on a day like this.

Kathleen Sacco: “I just feel energized. I think it makes people feel romantic.”

So, when we feel better, is it all in our heads?

Dr. Michael Stevens, Valley Mental Health: “There probably are some changes that biologically occur in a lot of people.”

Psychiatrist Michael Stevens says one theory is people undergo something analogous to hibernation in winter.

Dr. Michael Stevens: "Most people are a bit slowed down, have lower energy, eat more, sleep more in the wintertime. And people get better, those things go away in the spring time."

There is a dark side. Consumer watchdog Francine Giani say this is the season for scams. Crooked home improvement contractors and fly-by-night spring-break travel schemes pop up every year at this time.

Francine Giani, State Consumer Protection: "I love the spring. I think it's great. No coat on, it's wonderful, but I think we need to be a little careful about the kinds of things that happen around spring. And they're not all lovely and wonderful."

Officially it's not here yet; Spring arrives Friday.


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