Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:14
Spring is a time of rebirth, so it’s no surprise we celebrate. These holidays, whether true “holy days” or secular commemorations, tend to be marked by feasting and gifting. Persians go all-out for Nowruz, literally “new day,” with intense spring cleanings, visits to friends and family, and a feast. Japanese picnic in droves under the cherry blossoms—often in cemetaries—for hana matsuri. Christians this week mark the rebirth of Jesus Christ on Easter. Last week Jews gathered for Passover.
Many of these springtime holidays have a dark side—or at the very least a dark undercurrent. Behind the bunny rabbits (chocolate and furry), fluffy yellow chicks and prettily colored eggs lies a cruel and unjust death. Passover, too, marks a rebirth for the Jewish people; this most deadly plague, which “passed over” Jewish homes, finally persuaded Pharaoh to free the Israelites to pursue their destiny. (Let’s be thankful that human sacrifice has gone out of style with both God and man.) Even those Japanese picnics are traditionally a time to contemplate the ephemeral nature of life as you watch spring’s first light pink petals fall like snowflakes.
Truth is, springtime celebrations mark not life but its cycle, which must of necessity include death. If we were immortal, we wouldn’t take the same joy in being (not to mention the planet would be really crowded). The same dying and decay that make us sad are what make life joyful and precious.
Saturday, 25 October 2014 00:00
Long Island communities are waging a war against prescription drug abuse and a rampant heroin epidemic. The county launched a free public training program in 2012 to teach ordinary citizens the signs of an overdose and how to reverse its effects using a drug called Narcan.
Garden City High School hosted one of these training events on Oct. 9 as a packed auditorium of parents and community members gathered to learn the skills needed to potentially save a life. Floral Park will host the event in December.
Friday, 24 October 2014 00:00
Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution.
Dr. Charles Schleien, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, said that although the enterovirus is still active, cases are dwindling on Long Island. According to Schleien, approximately 500 cases have been reported this season of enterovirus, at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, with two to six patients being admitted per day.