Saturday, January 2, 2010

Protect Yourself Against the H1N1 Virus in 2010

In case you didn't know, the H1N1 vaccine is now available for all individuals who wish to protect themselves against the virus. Many people in our community have said things like "it's so hard to find out about clinics! I didn't even know I was eligible for vaccination..."

In fact, many people have commented on the decreased public demand for the vaccination; "I think it has a lot to do with the media's portrayal of the H1N1--at first it was all the craze to talk about, but now the news has really dropped its coverage of the issue," says one participant at one of our clinics.

But that doesn't mean risk has gone down, in reality, times of decreased awareness lead to increased exposure and a resurgence in infection.

And Passport Health makes it more accessible in 2010 for you and your family to stay safe! Aside from (where we post our clinics) Passport Health of Shrewsbury is running walk-in clinics ever Tuesday for the next month between 1PM and 4PM. No appointment necessary!

Seasonal and FluMist vaccine also available. Make sure you plan a pit-stop to our Shrewsbury office.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'm dreaming of a white... new year?

Hello world! It's New Year's Eve 2009. The dawn of a new year, a new decade is upon us... what better way to celebrate this new epoch and shovel snow, salt the driveway, and snuggle-up indoors? It might not be the most glamorous of get-togethers, but that's 2009 for you. There are two important factors in what we might call "everyday life" that have really made their way to the surface this year and these are fear and triumph.

It doesn't take much, I'm sure, to get you to think about what made you fearful this year. (There was quite a lot...) Not to use blanket statements that have lost meaning, but "the economy" was a huge stresser. For most people this broke down to- can we provide for our family? what will the future hold... does it matter if I make the right decisions now if they'll all be blown away in a day? Will my family be safe from disease; will they be healthy?
And then came the big questions, the questions that we don't like to ask ourselves- why did I take "the safe route" in my job, where I lived, when it all came apart anyway? Why didn't I do more of what I dreampt of and less of what I did because I was so stuck in the moment? Am I happy with  my life, with my choices, with my dreams?

That is the fear. And I don't care if you're 87 or you're 30, these questions crept into our everyday life in an unprecedented way and shook the foundations on which we lived.
Now I don't want to transition into an unbelievable pep-talk and make all the world's problems appear as rosy shadows in the summer. Because these are still *big* issues that we have to face as a collective. The only viable alternative to our consumption through fear is triumph.

Triumph means living, dreaming, fighting for a better life no matter what the consequences might be. Triumph means living in the moment and making decisions based on intellect, commitment to a fuller life, and embracing   the unknown in spite of everyday fear.
This is to say, if 2009 brought on the fear, then ring in the new decade with triumph. A triumphant life means more than pursuing emotional wisdom, travelling to the far reaches of Africa or Asia for entertainment (although these are great places to go!). A triumphant life, no matter how you cut it, boils down to your personal commitment to self-education.

If you're not happy with the messages that the media forces down your throat, find new sources of information. Read a philosophy book even if it's too difficult for you to understand. Write poetry even if it's bad, travel to the other side of the world and let yourself see what is really there... maybe it will help you understand what's really going on around here.

New Year's, no matter the cliche, is one of the rare times in life that we are invited to contemplate in our society. This year, at the conclusion of yet another decade, dare to ask yourself the real questions.

Maybe it means losing control of the everyday routine, maybe it means a mission-trip, maybe it means quitting your job and living off savings for a year in order to paint pinecones in Vermont.

I challenge you to listen to what you've really been telling yourself all along.
Maybe a night in is a good idea...
Happy New Year from all of us at Passport Health, I challenge you to make it the best one yet.

Signing off,