Friday, September 10, 2021

What about the Flu?

The 2021 influenza (flu) season is right around the corner. To predict how much influenza, we will see in the northern hemisphere, we look to the experience in the southern hemisphere. The good news is rates of the flu have been very low in the southern hemisphere just like last year. The biggest single reason for this is drop in cases is people are travelling less. They have also been wearing masks and practicing social distancing. So, there is a good chance that we will again see fewer than the average number of cases than we usually see in a year. 

However, experts worry that our antibody levels against influenza A in particular, may be low since we have not had much exposure to the virus over the past year or two. They are concerned, therefore, that we may have rapid spread of the flu virus once it becomes more widespread in the community. 

We can’t really know for sure what the flu season will be like, but we do know what we can do to limit the spread of the virus and keep ourselves healthy. Step 1 is to get vaccinated as soon as the influenza vaccine becomes available. Then, it will help to wear a mask, wash our hands often, and maintain social distancing if we do have outbreaks. Sound familiar?

Soon we will be announcing our 2021 employee influenza vaccination plan. I want to thank Sophia Powell, MSN, FNP-C, Occupational Health Director for the GBMC HealthCare system, for her hard work on the plan.  Next month we will be offering our employees their flu shots at several clinics to be held in our Civiletti Conference Center. Stay tuned for the specific clinic dates and times in the coming weeks.  

Happy New Year

Earlier this week was the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It is a holiday at the “head of the year” that comes at the close of the harvest, when the Jewish community of faith focuses on repentance.  L’Shana Tovah! Happy New Year 5782!

Remembering 9-11

As a nation, this coming Saturday we will recognize the 20th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001.  Like all Americans I was stunned by the events of that day and the great loss of life. I was somewhat buoyed by the phenomenal stories of those who gave of themselves for others in the days and months after 9/11.

As we look back at the terrible tragedy that occurred and the brave first responders who showed tremendous heroism in the hours and days thereafter, let us join together and work for peace and justice in the hope that events like these never happen again. Thank you! 

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