By Barbara Wells
The Meridian Star
Representatives of Greater Meridian Health Clinic will be at Meridian Activity Center to give flu shots on Monday, from 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
It is not too early to give the shot, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC's website (www.cdc.gov) provides the following information about flu vaccination:
Can a flu shot give you the flu?
No, a flu shot cannot cause flu illness. The influenza viruses contained in a flu shot are inactivated (killed), which means they cannot cause infection.
Should I wait to get vaccinated so that my immunity lasts through the end of the season?
No. CDC recommends that influenza vaccination begin as soon as flu vaccine becomes available and continues throughout the flu season. The flu season is unpredictable, and since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against influenza virus infection, it is best that people get vaccinated early so they are protected before influenza begins spreading in their community.
Is it too late to get vaccinated after Thanksgiving (or the end of November)?
No. Vaccination can still be beneficial as long as influenza viruses are circulating. CDC recommends that providers begin to offer influenza vaccination as soon as vaccine becomes available in the fall, but if you have not been vaccinated by Thanksgiving (or the end of November), it can still be protective to get vaccinated in December or later. Influenza is unpredictable and seasons can vary. Seasonal influenza disease usually peaks in January or February most years, but disease can occur as late as May.
We all know how to prevent the spread of germs that can cause cold and flu viruses, don’t we? Besides getting the flu vaccine, we want to stay home when sick. Please, Wash your hands with soap and water – often! Do not cough into your hands, cough into the crook of your arm or into a handkerchief. Keep disinfectant on hand to clean door knobs, countertops, frequently touched surfaces. Be aware of how easy it is to spread illness.
At the center
Winter classes begin on Oct. 21, so we have already been registering for some of the more popular classes. Call or come by the center in the next two-three weeks to see what we have going on. There’s bound to be something to interest you.
Line dancers are still meeting Monday nights at 6.
Steve Owen begins his Life Writing class on Oct. 2, from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. There is a small fee for the class so please bring your checkbook and register in advance; class size is limited.
Also on Oct. 2, we welcome Phyllis Millet back to the computer room to begin teaching a Windows 7 class. The fee for this class is still only $15 for five weeks. Although Windows 8 was released last winter, many people are still using and are still perplexed by: Windows 7. Call soon as class size is limited.
Local writer and former English instructor Katherine Horne began this fun contest with words a few years ago at our Gopher Turtle Literary Club. Turn a favorite tune into a Halloween ditty by changing a few words, such as: “A tisket, a tasket, a great big yellow casket ...” or “Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun!”
Send your entry to email@example.com or "snail-mail" it to Meridian Activity Center at 3300 32nd Ave., Meridian, MS 39305. Winner of the best song will get a treat if you dare leave your name! (Or maybe a trick.) Entries must be received by Oct. 30.
We were recently contacted by Charlotte Taberaux of the MSU Riley Center. Coming to Meridian in the next two months is the play “Fahrenheit 451” at the Riley Center and the movie to The Temple Theatre. The book is considered Ray Bradbury’s best.
Charlotte has received a grant to furnish the book to community members who are interested in a group discussion on the theme of the novel. The book is about a time in the future when books are outlawed, even burned. It seems a timely theme what with the advent of the Nook, Kindle, et al. Call if you would like to join a group at the center in reading the book. (601) 485-1812.
The next eight-week session will be our last class before the holiday season. Think about all those presents you want to make to give to loved ones.
Our ceramic studio will be open all day Tuesday and Thursday to pick what item you would like to make. Make your own seasonal cards this year. Join our colored pencil drawing class. Or, the decorative painting class – either one will give you the skills required to design your own card. Pine needle basket weaving, cake decorating, crochet, knitting ... all these classes have room in them right now.
The word has gotten out that Friday is "play day" at the center. Painters come that day to work on special projects. Others bring their cards and/or dominoes, a few friends, and a bag lunch. If you are interested in learning to play poker we have a new friend who wants to teach it. If we get enough people we’ll begin playing. Call me at (601) 485-1812.
Mosaic on Glass
Linda Munoz of Cuba, Ala., plans to teach a Mosaic on Glass class on Nov. 6 and 8. The first day we will cut our glass and form a pattern, glue it to a pane of glass. Then on Friday we will apply the grout.
This class will include all materials needed to learn Linda’s technique; the fee is only $30. Please call the center to reserve your spot in the class. The finished product will have the look of a stained glass window – without the lead and soldering. So easy and fun.
Meridian Activity Center is open to adults 21 years and older. The fee for an eight-week class for a Meridian citizen is $20; if you live in the county it is $25. Seniors over the age of 55 pay half price.
We are located in the heart of Meridian, off 29th Avenue and 36th Street – 3300 32nd Ave. – in the old Lamar Elementary School building. Phone (601) 485-1812 for information or if lost.
• Barbara Wells is director of Meridian Activity Center. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org