Bellamy and Watson offer free flu shots to all employees.


     This year, the shot is a four part, not the usual three parts, containing four strains of flu which have been around in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control have a spotty record when it comes to predicting which flu strain will be the winter whopper and where.


     At the Fields, our guests can handle the flu as they have for 85 or more winters but as they age, it’s the threat of flu turning to pneumonia that worries us the most.


     The flu is a good (or bad) way of finding out whose immune systems are worn out and whose are still robust. Our vulnerable guests will get seriously ill and our robust guests will get mild, annoying, uncomfortable but not disastrous cases.


     We live in such close proximity, eating in common dining rooms, exercising and doing activities and enjoying the living rooms for entertainment, that we are all exposed.


     Feel free to quote me: we all get the flu; we don’t all get sick.


     Now, say it again.


     We wash our hands, push fluids on our guests, relentlessly wash table tops and other surfaces, scrub a dub the bathrooms and no matter what we do, the flu will have its way with us.


     Children with runny noses are dangerous. They get an influenza for the first time and pass it around to their schoolmates and they all get sick, then get well and, along the way, acquire a little immunity to the particular strain.


     The catch is, if the kids get a new nasty flu that my guests haven’t been exposed to in fifty or more years, those little runny nosers are going to spread a new flu around the Fields that could be devastating.


     We’ll be posting polite reminders (warnings) not to visit if you have flu symptoms. Please take your own precautions for your health and for the rest of your family.


    My public health training and feelings about flu shots lead me to suggest that you get a flu shot for your own sake and in doing so, you contribute to the health of the community by decreasing the risk that you will pass on the flu unnecessarily to other people.






 Sing the song, dance the dance


The performing arts provide pure pleasure to people and are gaining attention in the research into the brain and mind functions associated with Alzheimer's and related disorders.


     At the Fields, our interests are two-fold. At the scientific level, we use music and performance arts to stimulate our guests brains and minds and their physical well-being. Singing is a remarkably complex brain activity, as detailed on the music web page. All music lights up parts of the brain that have been darkened by dementia.


     We have a new resident at Bellamy whose behavior was too much for another facility to manage. She now often joins the front office staff in impromptu dance routines. Elvis is her favorite, 50's rhythms her forte. Her cognitive impairment is profound so she can't sing the songs anymore but, oh my, can she dance the dance.


     Our other interest is in philanthropic support of the performing arts.

     We're underwriting the Seacoast Charter School music performances for the first time this year.

Among other beneficiaries, Prescott Park Festival, Portsmouth Symphony and it's children's development program, Amare Cantare, Seacoast Wind Ensemble Children's program, South Berwick Community Chorus and Saturday Nights In Market Square, through Pro Portsmouth, among others.

     In honor of my father, Jim and mother, Josephine, we also underwrite the Writer's Almanac on NPR and this year, the summer music program at Trinity Church in York Harbor.


     My parents were patrons of the performing and fine arts. Our home had music at meals, the massive, unabridged Webster s dictionary to aid the crossword puzzlers and a wonderful Mason and Hamlin grand piano. Jim and Josephine's mothers were accomplished pianists.


     The mission of the Fields might be thought of as an invitation to sing the song and dance the dance.






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