The art and science of New Mexico

If you like art in any form- paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, pottery, jewelry, woodcarving- I recommend you plan a trip to northeast New Mexico to visit Santa Fe and Taos .

Of course, you may need to wait until New Mexico further relaxes its pandemic precautions. Their COVID-19 response has been aggressive but successful in minimizing disease and death.

How New Mexico Controlled the Spread of COVID-19

“the focus on science may be the biggest factor in New Mexico’s resilience… the state has been “very proactive at implementing science-based decisions.”

Dr. Scrase adds that “it’s really exciting to have a governor who values science and evidence.” Reopening decisions did take economic interests into account, he notes, but ultimately, they were driven by data about health and safety. “I’m really proud of that,” ( quote in the article from New Mexico’s Secretary of Human Services)

Santa Fe

You will be able to visit gallery after gallery, shop after shop for days on end, and still not see them all. If you arrive by air your art tour will start right at the airport which is small but sets the tone for what you will see during your stay.

As you step outside the terminal you will be greeted by the bronze statue Reverence by artist David Pearson. As described in an art guide,

“Hers is a pose of prayer, of openness to powers beyond all understanding,.. Her ancient gesture is transformed into one of welcome and benefaction in her perfect placement at the Santa Fe airport. “

statue of a young woman with outstretched arms
the Taos New Mexico airport terminal, an adobe building
statue of young woman

Taos- city and the pueblo

Taos too is an art mecca both within the town and also at the Taos Pueblo, which is also a must see for those interested in  Native American history and culture. At the pueblo, tribe members display and sell handmade arts and crafts.

As you travel around both cities and the surrounding areas, you don’t have to look for the art- it will find you.

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We can prevent disease-immunize, part 1

 This older post has an update here-

person getting vaccinated

Vital questions you should ask about immunization

This coronavirus pandemic is serious. We don’t yet have a vaccine or effective treatments. To protect ourselves, our familes, and our entire communities we should all be practicing social distancing and other hygiene measures as we wait for a safe, effective vaccine and treatments.

Prevention is a focus in healthcare now  and immunization has  been one of the most effective ways to prevent disease ever developed.

The list of diseases that are “vaccine preventable” is long and continues to grow.

Go here for the latest recommendations and guidelines on immunization from the  National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)

Vaccine recommendations may be based on a person’s

  •  age,
  • gender,
  • ethnicity and
  • concurrent conditions, especially diabetes mellitus, chronic lung diseases, heart disease and  immune suppressing disorders.

Vaccine administration may vary by

  • the number of doses recommended,
  • how far apart the doses should be given, and
  • which vaccines can be administered at the same time.

Immunization protocols have  become so complex that even physicians have difficulty keeping it straight without the use of paper or digital checklists. This is one area where the Internet and EMRs (electronic medical records) can be useful.

Find out what vaccines your child needs for protection against common  infections. 

 

 

Vaccines for infections caused by bacteria

I use the name of the disease and/or the bacteria, rather than the vaccine name, since there are different brand names for the vaccines depending on the manufacturer.

So successful have these vaccines been that most young doctors have never seen a patient with these diseases (unless perhaps they specialize in infectious disease, immunology, emergency medicine or critical care). And even I, who graduated medical school in 1978, have only seen a few, and none in recent years.

Diphtheria-primarily a respiratory tract illness in young persons

Pertussis, better know as whooping cough, also a respiratory illness, which has made a comeback in recent years, apparently due to a waning of immunity

Tetanus, also called “lockjaw”– due to a toxin which may contaminate a dirty wound

Menigococcal disease, which is one of many causes of meningitis (inflammation of the brain lining), but one of the most deadly, even with treatment

Streptococcal pneumoniae disease; the vaccine is often referred to as the “pneumonia vaccine”, but the bacteria can also cause ear infections, sinusitis, meningitis and sepsis (bloodstream infection)

Haemophilus disease is similar to pneumococcal, but more of a concern in infants and children

Six Things YOU Need to Know about Vaccines

 

Vaccination prevents disease- part 2

In part 1  I discussed the vaccine preventable bacterial diseases . Here we’ll look at viral infections. Virus vs Bacteria One major difference between bacterial and viral infections is the treatment. We have many more effective antibiotics (drugs which fight bacteria) than we do antiviral drugs. And antibiotics do not affect viruses. Despite that fact, patients often … Continue reading “Vaccination prevents disease- part 2”

 

exploring the HEART of infection control

I appreciate all of you who are following Watercress Words, and if you aren’t I invite you to join the wonderful people who are. You can meet some of them in the sidebar, where you can click on their image and visit their blogs. Use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me.

 

Dr. Aletha