Monday, June 13, 2011

Wishing you a healthy and happy winter

Here's a story of synchronicity (or simply coincidence). On the second day of our current cold snap, I noticed how foolish many people are about keeping warm.  There seems to be some unwritten understanding that because we live in Queensland, the weather is warm.  Most of the time this is true, but when the temperature is 12 degrees celsius, clearly it is reasonably cold. And one should dress appropriately.  But this is how the townsfolk of my regional centre were dressing: jeans with T-shirt and thongs (that's flip-flops for the Americans, and jandals for the New Zealanders); shorts and singlets; bare feet.  And everyone was exclaiming about how cold it was! Madness!  And the same day, our local paper's lead story was about our hospitals' emergency departments having treated over 64,000 people in the past year.  Many of them for simple colds and coughs.

  I saw red. I was fuming. I almost wrote a smarmy letter to the editor. Our health system is overstretched as it is. A popular sport around here is telling horror stories about waiting times at the hospital, and the poor treatment people receive there. Maybe if people looked after themselves, all through the year, but especially in winter, the peak of the cold and flu season, the figures would not be so high, and the overworked, underpaid doctors and nurses at the hospital would be able to give better and more efficient help to those who genuinely need it.

I know I'm probably preaching to the converted. But it won't hurt any of us to do a quick mental check that we are doing our best to keep ourselves and our families healthy and happy this winter. I have had a quick surf to find some sites which may help:

And since cabin fever can sometimes be just as bad as real fever....
  • Christie Burnett, at Childhood 101 has come up with a great list of ideas for keeping kids active when it is too cold to go outside.
  • Here are some craft ideas for entertaining tweens and some other rainy day ideas for kids of all ages.
  • Lists of the best books for teenage boys and girls
  • American Library Association's (ALA) list of best contemporary young adult fiction (some of which looks great - I will have to have a closer look at this list!) And here is the list of the ALA's award winners including the Newbery and Caldecott medals.

What do you do to stay happy and healthy in winter? Have you found any gems or germs online?

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