Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center Virtual Annual Benefit: Moving Generations Forward-
Honoring Human Rights Leaders Past, Present, and Future
Thursday, October 29, 7 p.m., from the comfort and safety of your home
Our guest speaker will be Derek Black. Derek Black is the son of Don Black, the founder of the hate site Stormfront and the godson of David Duke, a former grand wizard of the KKK. While attending a small liberal arts college in Florida, students discovered a white nationalist living in their midst. They showed him practicing extreme acceptance. Coming from people he respected, their ideas had real merit to him. Derek is uniquely smart. That made him discover the flaws in white nationalism ideology. He walked away from the white nationalist movement. Join us and listen to his story.
Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, please contact Millie Jasper, 914-696-0738 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Since March, many of us have been consumed, rightfully so, by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Months later, the virus continues to dictate our lives.
But, as summer moves into fall, should we also start worrying about the flu?
According to Dr. Daren Wu, Chief Medical Officer at Open Door Family Medical Center, protection against the flu has never been more important than now.
“We strongly encourage patients to get the flu shot and, once a vaccine is available, a vaccine against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 as well,” said Dr. Wu. “These viruses are two completely different species, so getting vaccinated for one will not protect you against the other. What you definitely do not want is the 1 – 2 punch of getting both viruses, which is entirely possible. Each virus can be deadly, and in tandem they can be that much worse. When your immune system is down because of the flu, other infections – including coronavirus – can kick in.”
Flu vaccinations will be available across Open Door’s six health centers in Westchester and Putnam Counties and eight School-Based Health Centers in the Ossining and Port Chester School Districts, beginning in September. Most patients, he said, usually need little convincing to get an annual flu shot, and it is available to all patients over six months old. However, he added, there is still a great deal of misinformation about the flu and he encourages “anti-vax” community members to learn more and get the flu shot.
This is particularly important among those most at risk: the elderly, young children, pregnant women, and those with certain health conditions that make them more vulnerable to serious flu complications.
“Our minds are on Covid-19, but getting the flu will lower your immune system and can make you more susceptible to all sorts of secondary infections, including bacterial infections and other viruses such as Covid-19,” said Dr. Wu. “The flu shot is not perfect, but we keep framing the message that it is overwhelmingly safe and can give you significant protection.”
Flu activity begins to increase in October and November and can last until May. It typically peaks in January or February.
“The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older,” said Dr. Wu. “Young children up through the age of eight years old, who are getting vaccinated for the first time, require two doses of flu vaccine, spaced at least 28 days apart. Because children under the age of six months are too young to receive the vaccine, it is especially important that their parents and older siblings get vaccinated to prevent the spread of the flu to infants who are particularly vulnerable to serious complications.”
The effectiveness of the annual flu vaccine depends in part on the match between the viruses used to produce a vaccine and the strains of flu that will circulate in the new flu season. While the vaccine is produced to protect against the flu viruses that research and surveillance indicate are most likely to be common this season, there is no way to predict with certainty.
“Flu viruses not only change from season to season, but can even change within the course of a single season,” said Dr. Wu. “Still, antibodies made in response to a vaccination with one flu virus can sometimes provide protection against different flu strains. That’s why, even if the vaccine is a less than a perfect match, it is still far more effective in preventing the flu than getting no shot at all.”
This year, he added, it’s even more important for people to comply.
EIGHT GOOD REASONS TO GET A FLU SHOT
Here, according to Dr. Wu, are eight good reasons to get a flu shot:
Getting the flu can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to secondary infections. This takes on especial importance this year, at least until there is a vaccine for Covid-19, which is a more lethal virus.
The flu can affect anyone. The flu is a serious virus and spreads easily. Vaccination protects you, your family and friends.
The flu shot is safe. Flu vaccines CANNOT cause the flu – they are made with either killed or weakened viruses. One of the biggest myths out there is that flu shots can cause the flu and that simply is not true. Serious reactions are extremely rare. Mild reactions include soreness, redness or swelling where the vaccine was given.
The flu shot you received last year is no longer effective. The influenza virus changes and mutates fairly rapidly. New flu vaccinations are developed each year to ensure evolving viruses are adequately targeted and protected against.
You want to protect your kids. Young children under the age of five are more susceptible to serious complications from the flu, such as pneumonia, secondary infections from bacteria and other viruses, and dehydration. Both children (over six months old) and parents need the shot.
You are pregnant or considering getting pregnant. Pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing complications from the flu. The flu shot is safe during pregnancy.
You or someone you know is over 65 and/or has a long-term illness. As human immune defenses become weaker with age, a vaccination is designed specifically for people 65 years and older. Additionally, a number of long-term, chronic health conditions such as diabetes or cancer, are associated with an increased risk of flu-related complications (as they are with Covid-19).
Getting vaccinated is part of a healthy lifestyle. The flu can blindside you with its intensity and leave you feeling sick for days. When you get a flu shot, you build up your immunity, making you stronger and more resistant to the flu.
If you would like to make an appointment to get a flu shot, please call Open Door at 914-632-2737 or email email@example.com.
Information courtesy of Open Door Family Medical Center.
Open Door Family Medical Center
Open Door Family Medical Center provides health care and wellness programs to individuals and families in need throughout Westchester, Putnam and Ulster Counties. A pioneer Federally Qualified Health Center, Open Door provides more than 300,000 patient visits annually and serves nearly 60,000 individual patients who might not otherwise have access. Open Door offers integrated services and a holistic approach to building healthier communities. Primary medical care, dental care, integrated behavioral health care, clinical nutrition, wellness programs, and chronic disease management are the foundation of its clinical programs. Founded as a free clinic in 1972, Open Door’s mission of building healthier communities through accessible, equitable, culturally competent health care has led to site and service expansions. Today, Open Door operates centers in Brewster, Mamaroneck, Mount Kisco, Ossining, Port Chester, and Sleepy Hollow, in addition to eight School-Based Health Centers in the Port Chester and Ossining School Districts, a mobile dental van in Mount Kisco, and a new dental practice in Saugerties, NY. Open Door is accredited by the Joint Commission and is recognized by the National Committee on Quality Assurance as a Patient-Centered Medical Home.
Each summer, The Sharing Shelf organizes its “Backpacks to School” initiative to buy new backpacks and fill them with grade appropriate school supplies for low-income children in Westchester County. The program works with individuals and businesses County-wide to raise the funds needed to purchase everything needed for this initiative, from new backpacks to binders, notebooks, folders, crayons, pencils, pens and paper.
At this moment the last days of being in a school are a distant blur and back to school is filled with uncertainty, whether our children will return to school as we know it, shift into a hybrid system, or continue with home-based schooling.
The Sharing Shelf, in consultation with educators, has decided to proceed with its annual program. These educators have told us that regardless of what form school will be, children still need to learn. They will not only need the usual supplies but also resources to keep them mentally engaged and enriched. It is The Sharing Shelf’s plan to provide not just the basics, but enhanced materials such as age-appropriate educational magazines, puzzles, activity sets and books.
Even before the pandemic and economic downturn, Westchester County was a community with a mix of great wealth yet home to nearly 60,000 low-income children. In some of our communities, 8 in 10 public school students qualify for free or reduced lunch. We believe that number, given the current environment, is probably much higher. In April 2020, unemployment in Westchester county skyrocketed to over 14% from 4% in January 2020. Meanwhile, the average family spends $122 on school supplies, a sum out of reach for families struggling financially.
The Sharing Shelf plans to fill at least 1,500 backpacks and seeks to raise $45,000 for this project. Volunteers will help assemble the backpacks, using social distancing in a special area at The Sharing Shelf’s Port Chester warehouse during the month of August. The backpacks and supplies are critical to the academic success of low-income children and will allow them to return to school prepared, confident, and ready to learn.
To find out more about how to help or to donate, please contact The Sharing Shelf Program Director, Deborah Blatt at firstname.lastname@example.org or (914) 305-5950. You may also visit www.sharingshelf.org and click on Backpacks to School
About The Sharing Shelf
Founded in 2009, The Sharing Shelf is Westchester’s Clothing Bank for Children. The program collects new and gently used clothing for infants, children and teens. The clothing is distributed to local, low-income children through area social service agencies, schools, hospitals and other non-profits at no cost. The children receive a week’s worth of seasonally appropriate clothing matched to their sizing needs. Since 2011, The Sharing Shelf has been filling new backpacks with fresh supplies for back to school. For more information, visit www.sharingshelf.org
This story is courtesy of The Sharing Shelf.
A close and unrushed ‘listen’ to George Latimer’s most recent update this week on coronavirus in Westchester offered several reasons to stay at least cautiously optimistic that infection from coronavirus is “diminishing” across the county, including in Chappaqua in the two days preceding the July 6 briefing. Chappaqua experienced a recent spike–27 cases, including 21 in Chappaqua, were tracked to the New Castle hamlet in the last two weeks–but the infection may be leveling off thanks to cautionary measures that have included a mandatory quarantine of persons impacted.
While conveying a message of hope and positivity, Latimer also issued clear warnings for continued vigilance and compliance with recommendations (social distancing/mask wear/hand washing) against the coronavirus to make sure it stays that way.
The continuous decline for two and a half months in active cases has likely been due to the act of compliance with masks in public, stressed Latimer, Westchester’s County Executive who has been providing near daily updates streamed live on Facebook and shared later in a You Tube link. The full press briefing may be viewed here https://youtu.be/ys1l09q1Uks
Coronavirus battling measures included asking business and store owners to wear masks, “influencing society. Now, it has become much more of the norm than it ever was,” he said.
On July 6, Latimer reported 527 active cases of CoronaVirus within the county.
Between March 1 (a period commonly designated as the ‘beginning of the pandemic’) and July 6, 35,084 people tested positive for Covid-19. “However, percentage-wise, there has been a little over 1% of positives as of the night on July 5. In one day, only 41 people were found to have the virus after testing almost 4000 people– indicating the spread is diminishing.”
Compared to March or April, he explained, “arguably the height of the pandemic across America, there was as much as 30% of all people tested coming in positive. But as more testing is being conducted, the percentage of those who have the coronavirus has been substantially lowering”.
More Positive Findings for Westchester
Staying cautiously optimistic, Latimer conveyed that “the past week has seen a rise and fall in cases, from the recent Chappaqua outbreak, dating back to over two weeks ago; the rise has increased to 27 positive cases that tie back to the set of activities… that include a graduation drive in ceremony and a ‘field night’ event following the graduation, both in rather large gatherings and minimal masks and social distancing.”
“Of the 27 positive cases, 21 tracked to Chappaqua, three of them tracked to Mount Kisco, two track to Bedford, and one track to Pleasantville. “As of now, there have been no new cases in the last two days that are trackable to the Chappaqua spike. If so, it is thought to be leveling off,” Latimer said. “Keep in mind, if they caught COVID that night, they would have gone through two weeks without having shown symptoms… Of course, it’s possible that if somebody caught it, and then was further infected later, there are still some ways that the Chappaqua spread may linger on longer.”
“I think we’ve had a good response at this particular outbreak,” continued the executive. “Nothing is perfect, but we’ve gotten substantial compliance. 80-85% of the people have responded… We seem to be in a pretty good place for having understood and dealt with it.”
As for the opening of Phase 4 this week (on July 7) in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, major changes are set “for allowable activity.
For outdoor and indoor arts entertainment, low-risk areas have been set to a limit of up to 50 people. As Latimer would elaborate, this would include “the traditional summer band concert in Scarsdale at Chase Park or the theatrical and concert performances that go on in the gazebo in Armonk.” Anything along these lines, while fitting the specific guidelines, will do.
As the last revealed phase of reopening, the governor still has not reopened amusement parks, health clubs, and gyms. “These will not be things that are going to be lifted in future phases; instead, there would be executive orders by the governor on that specific action or function that may happen at any point in time.”
Latimer’s briefings will continue once a week every Monday at 2 pm EST, as opposed to the daily updates Monday through Thursday, he said. Despite a recent uptick in numbers, the steady decrease throughout would mean “we would not need to do this on a regular basis,” he stated from the County Executive’s White Plains conference room.
Editor’s Note: Brian Zhang, a rising junior at Byram Hills High School, assisted in preparing this update, as a first assignment as a summer intern for the Inside Press.
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