Our staff members, both young and older, were swept up in the excitement of Valentine’s Day. We celebrate a day recognized throughout the world historically based upon early Christian saints. But Geoffrey Chaucer’s poetry first associated the day with romantic love and that is the tradition we have embraced. Over the last 6 centuries the tradition has become a way of expressing love for each other with flowers, sweets and sending greeting cards.
The members of the WPA staff each year exchange cards and sweets during a colorful contest for the creation of the loveliest “mailbox”. Bob Ledwith, the founder of the contest, presents the well-earned prize to the winner of the contest. Mailboxes are judged on artistic merit, sturdiness of construction and the whims of the voters.
This year the Valentine mailbox winner was Kristy for her “hot air balloon” seen in the background and it was a spectacular example for all of the competitors!
All of the entries had their own flavor and theme, most required glue and paint skills and some challenged Kristy’s entry for the top prize but not successfully. Next year, after seeing this year’s entries, our staff felt that the next contest will have the bar set even higher.
The Church of the Good Shepherd in Wareham will be offering a concert by a chamber chorus, the Mastersingers by the Sea, on Saturday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m. This group of exceptional singers has gained prominence locally and throughout the South Coast region. They are based in Falmouth and are under the direction of Music director Dr. David MacKenzie. They will be accompanied by instrumentalists playing instruments from the period of their music. Tickets are available at the door, by going to: www.mastersingersbythesea.org or calling 1-508-540-4732.
There will be a concert at Tabor Academy’s Lyndon South Auditorium, 66 spring Street, Marion on Saturday March 1 at 4 p.m. Ariadne Daskalakis, a violinist and Anthony Spiri, a concert pianist, both world renowned, will present Sonatas by Handel, Mozart and Faure.
Ms. Daskalakis is internationally acclaimed, born of Greek heritage in Boston, and educated at Julliard, Harvard and HdK Berlin. She has performed in renowned ensembles in America’s and Europe’s major cities and has won numerous prizes in competition.
Mr. Spiri is one of the most versatile and highly regarded pianists among today’s chamber music pianists and solists. He was born in the USA and studied in Cleveland and Boston until receiving a grant to study in Europe obtaining his diploma with special distinction from the “Mozarteum” in Salzburg.
This winter season, rich in frequent snowfall and the holidays of Christmas and New Years, has also been the time of year overabundant in illness. Flu activity is still elevated and likely to continue for weeks in the United States.
If you have not gotten your flu vaccine yet this season, you should get one now. This season’s vaccine protects against H1N1, the most common virus this season. And remember that flu antiviral drugs are a second line of defense to treat flu illness. People at high risk of serious flu illness should call a health care provider if they get flu symptoms. The month of January brought 34 cases of flu into our office and February so far has brought 13 cases.
Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly.
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
Our office has also seen a surge in children with sore throats in January and February. Nearly 200 children have come to us with that complaint and nearly 70 of the children were culture positive for a Strep throat. Early treatment with Penicillin or alternative antibiotics for those allergic to Penicillin helps prevent the complication of rheumatic fever, an illness often damaging the heart and causing long lasting health effects.
Much has been in the news in the last year about the Human Papilloma virus as a cause of genital warts and genital cancer. There is a vaccine now being recommended for children ages 11 and 12 years to reduce the number of children and adults suffering from these diseases. With the incidence of cervical cancer in women and genital and oral cancer in men rising, we now have a vaccine that can prevent cancer caused by the 4 strains of the virus that are the most responsible. The goal, after recognizing that our children will most likely become sexually active in adulthood, is to protect them from these viruses before they are at risk with a simple vaccine series of 3 injections spread over 6 months.
The vaccine is non-infectious, carries no genetic material, and is basically the protein envelope of the virus. Scientists found that they could separate the gene coding for that protein, add it to the common yeast genome, and by growing the yeast produce the viral protein coat in amounts adequate to produce the vaccine. Early studies for the first 8 years show persistent antibody levels. Side effects have been minor and include the discomfort that any injection can cause, occasional light headedness and fainting in those susceptible.
This is the first vaccine to offer protection against genital warts, and cancer, cancers whose discoveries peak in the late 40’s and 50’s. Included is a graph of the experience in Australia of the success of these vaccines that should be a source of comfort to parents concerned about cancer developing in their children. A link to the CDC in Atlanta for more information is www.cdc.gov/hpv/vaccine.html