The Cities | Seasonal Flu | QC Environmental Film Series

(emotional piano music) – [Female Announcer] A proud
supporter of this program, River Bend Foodbank’s vision is a hunger-free Iowa and Illinois. – [Male Announcer] Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory has been serving Quad
City families since 1889. Wheelan-Pressly funeral
homes are located in Rock Island, Milan, and Reynolds, and are proud supporters of WQBT. – A strain of the flu that’s
proving tougher than expected, marijuana now legal in Illinois,
but is it safe for you? And bringing the world we must
protect to the big screen, in The Cities. (upbeat music) It’s a first of its kind; the Quad Cities environmental film series starts this weekend, and
continues for five afternoons into May at the Figge Museum. What’s the reason behind
this first-ever effort in the cities? That’s coming up. But first, fighting back against some real hazards to your health. This year’s flu strain proving to be tougher than in years past, especially for children. Is your flu shot doing all
that it’s supposed to do? And joining us is the head of the Rock Island County Health Department, Chief Operating Officer Janet Hill. Thanks so much for joining us. – You’re welcome. – Let’s talk about this. Let’s talk about the
flu strain in particular that seems to be causing
more problems this year. – Well, the good news is
that most of the flu vaccine has covered the strains that
are circulating right now. There is one strain, Influenza
B, which of the flu strains is not as bad as some of the other ones, that is, it might not
be as good of a match, and, unfortunately, this is a strain that affects kids the worst. – Well, let’s talk a
little bit about vaccines that people may not understand. It’s that because so many vaccines for the flu have to be made, scientists predict
almost a year in advance – [Janet] They do. – What they think is
going to be the impact for the upcoming flu season, and that’s the vaccine you get. – That’s absolutely true. What they do is they look at what happens in the Southern Hemisphere,
the opposite season of ours, and what circulated then. The CDC did this year
delay the flu vaccine just a little bit to try to get as much time as they
could to get the right strain, and like I said, they
matched almost perfectly. – [Jim] Yeah, and that’s
why I would assume that that’s one of the reasons
why you’re still saying “Get a flu shot”. – That’s right. Any flu shot is better than no flu shot, and we know that it reduces the severity if you happen to do get it, and we know that it reduces
your chances of getting it up to 60%. – Now, you were talking
about this one strain that seems to have fallen
through the cracks, so to speak, but you said it was because of a mutation? – The flu mutates
throughout the season, so, this is the Influeza B Victoria strain, and it seems to not be as covered as some of the other ones are. – And it’s hitting one
area of the population far more severely than others. – It seems to impact children worse, but it is important to
note that it is children who are mostly, have
immunocompromised systems such as have asthma or
other health conditions, but we recommend that every
person age six months to all the way through gets a flu shot. – So if you have a
child that has, perhaps, a lessened immune system, what
are you suggesting to them in regards to this one particular strain that could get through? – I would say get, you know, get the child vaccinated
if he already has not been, and then follow the three
C’s, you need to, you know, contain, if your child is sick, you should clean well, and you should cover
cough if their child is, is experiencing coughing. – Where are we seeing the flu right now? Because, as far as reporting is concerned, you were saying to me, before we starting recording
this program, was that Illinois has a different reporting
system than Iowa. – That’s true. – So that we don’t really
know the full extent of the flu in Illinois. – It went to widespread
status in the state about the middle of December, and that’s what we would expect. People start seeing flu a
little bit before Thanksgiving, and then, you know, we spend
a lot of our time indoors, we spend a lot of our time
during holidays gathering, so we are more exposed
to viruses and colds. So, you know, we would like people to have their flu vaccine a couple
weeks before Thanksgiving, but if they haven’t had it, you know, please do get it now. – We want to show you
this graphic right now that is showing how the
flu started, kind of, at least the flu reports
started in the southern part of the state Louisiana, and then keeps creeping up north and it starts creating
these pockets throughout, not only the midwest, but also in New England states as well. That’s not unusual, I mean, the way this map is just
turning redder and redder in some areas, that’s not unusual? – [Janet] That’s exactly
what we would expect this time of year. – So, how long does it last? – Usually, by the end of
March, it’s pretty much over. This last season lasted
a little bit longer, so that’s why it’s important to not get your flu shot too early, because we want it to
last the entire season, so we’re saying, you
know, middle of October is about the beginning of
when you should get it. – What you were pointing
out, once again, is that children are really susceptible
to this in particular. Have we been seeing the
schools really being hit hard? – You know, that’s not something that’s been reported to us yet. It’s still a little bit early, I mean, kids have not been back in school too long after Christmas vacations. We would expect in the
next couple of weeks we’ll have more cases. – Well, and let’s be honest, that’s the real breeding
ground, of course? – That’s right. – Is like, daycare, or
your workplace, or schools. – Right, right. So, you know, back to
the three C’s, you know. If you’re sick, stay
home, clean constantly, and if you are coughing, cover it. – One other area we wanna talk about, and you put out a warning, once again, after January 1st, of course, recreational marijuana
is now legal in Illinois. You still have a number of
concerns for people who are, well, let’s talk about
the casual user who may be more experienced at using
marijuana than others. What are your concerns for
people who are continuous users? – I would say that just
because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s safe, and
we know that with alcohol use. The more you use, the worse effects it has on your body. I think what I am most concerned about is many, many studies have shown that the brain is not fully
developed until age 25, so there is that window between
age 21, where it’s legal, to 25, where it could cause some severe brain development problems. It has been shown to lower
IQ points, reduce memory, and impair academic performance. – You’ve also been a
little concerned about the person who’s trying
marijuana, perhaps, for the very first time, that they may not know
what they’re getting into? – This isn’t, you know,
your parents’ marijuana. It’s three times more potent
than it was 25 years ago, and with that increased potency, we’re worried about increased addiction. And, you know, when
someone has an addiction, that causes all kinds of
other social problems. – Well, when you talk
about potency, I mean, we all know what potency means as far as drugs are concerned, but when you’re talking
about the actual increase, three times more, potent in marijuana, – What does that really mean? I mean, I’d assume that drugs affect different people in different ways. – That’s true, I mean, your body metabolizes things differently, but the strains of THC in marijuana now is just stronger, I mean, so you would need less
to feel that same effect, and, so, if people are
still using the same amount, they are putting a lot
more THC into the system. – What are you worried about as far as the Health Department is concerned in the future going forward? Because right now, it’s
obviously not even a month old, legal marijuana. Is the Health Department prepared for programs or treatments or
anything from six months on, did the Illinois legislature actually plan for that in any way? – There is a health committee that is part of the new state law. It has not gotten fully
up and running yet, but it is supposed to monitor
health data and, you know, just see the impacts of
marijuana legalization in the state. – So is that something
that you’ll be assessing? – You know, it’s more at the state level. – But, I mean, who reports
to the state, I guess is, how does the state
gather this information? I would think from a local level is how they’re going to get it, and I would think that would be the County Health Department. – It would come through us, it would come through our health partners, it would come through the coroner’s office if that’s the case. It’s also important to note
that marijuana is legal when it’s bought from a dispensary, which is a licensed facility. It’s not legal from buying it
from the guy down the street. – Which is still, obviously, going on, that’s one of the things
that the state of Illinois is also looking into. We were talking about schools,
and we were talking about the flu season in schools, but you’ve also had to deal with the issue of measles in schools. Last year, you were worried about how some of the statistics were
adding up at some schools. What about this year? – We’ve had no reportable cases
of measles this school year, which is very good. We still wanna get the message out that measles is vaccine preventable, and very dangerous to
children if they don’t get, if they get the measles,
it’s very dangerous to them. – That’s really one of your
biggest concerns, of course, is that there are children
who, for various reasons, aren’t vaccinated, – Right. – Or are real susceptible to
diseases that could come from people who are not vaccinated – Correct. – And carrying it. – How serious of a problem
is that really in this area? – Most of the schools in this, Illinois State Board of Education is the one that tracks this. – And almost all of our schools, and all of the big school districts, are in compliance. We have some smaller schools
that we have been working with, to, you know, get the message out to them to make sure that their
kids are vaccinated, and to understand that
the exemptions are there for medical reasons, really. – Yeah, and when you say “in
compliance”, it’s because, I mean, there are requirements
to attend some schools, that you have to have your
immunizations up to date. – That’s right. And that is, you know, that’s part of the whole herd immunity, if, you know, if everyone
who can gets their vaccine, it helps protect the people who cannot because of allergies, for example. – Well, then I go from
one extreme to the other, we’re talking about children, let’s talk about the problem with adults, and that is the Quad City area, the Rock Island County Health Department, really concerned about the level of STDs that have been spreading. It’s still a concern, even
though you put out the warning, what, a year ago. – About, yeah. We have high numbers of
all STDs in the county, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and it’s not just something
that’s happening here, the rates are through the
roof throughout the country. – Is this a case where, how do I say this delicately, is that unprotected sex is occurring, and perhaps it’s because
people, young people, don’t really think there’s
any risk because of AIDs? You know, or, “Oh, I can get
an STD, a shot will cure it” and all that? – I think that’s certainly a concern. – [Jim] A factor. – And then, you know,
long acting birth control, so they don’t have to
worry about pregnancy, but, you know, an IUD does
not protect against an STD. – And what are you telling, you know, young men or young women, I mean, how do you combat that? Let’s be honest, behavior is behavior, whether it’s marijuana,
as we were talking about, or sexual relations, it’s not like “don’t do this”, that doesn’t necessarily work. – No, we just try to
educate them on the risk. While these STDs are treatable, most of them are treatable
with antibiotics, but we are finding that some of them are not as effective, the
antibiotics are not as effective, and it may take, you know,
several rounds of antibiotics to knock out the illness,
and, so our thinking is, “Why just not be protected
from the beginning?” Because, you know, STDs, you
know, while it’s, you know, kind of embarrassing, or, you
know, giggly to talk about, you know, it is a serious
concern, and, you know, it can, you know, lead to, in the case of syphilis, for example, you know, serious brain problems. – Janet Hill, who is the… – Chief Operating Officer. – Chief Operating, COO, of the Rock County Island Health Department. I knew you had one of
those unusual titles, Chief Operating Officer. Thanks so much for joining
us, we appreciate it. – You’re welcome. – In a moment, getting to know the world around you a little better, thanks to the
first-of-its-kind film series, but first, here’s Laura
Adams, Out and About. – [Laura Adams] This is Out and About for January 13th through 19th. It’s time for LeClaire’s Bald Eagle Day at the LeClaire Civic
Center, January 19th. It’s free and open to the public, while the Freight House Farmer’s Market hold their Icestravaganza
January 18th, staring at 8. Watch professional ice sculptors
carve 2,400 pounds of ice. The Soul Children of Chicago
are the featured guests at RISE- the Martin Luther
King, Jr. Community Celebration at Augustana Centennial
Hall the 18th at 6. Experience Disney and
Pixar’s “Coco” in concert, with the Quad City symphony orchestra at the Adler Theatre the 18th. Mercado on 5th vendors
will transport attendees to the land of the dead. The Quad Cities Environmental Film Series begins the 19th at 4
at the Figge Art Museum with the film “The Biggest Little Farm”. There’s a trivia night
at the Rogalski Center at Saint Ambrose January 18th, while the Polyrhythms
Third Sunday Jazz series presents the debut of Iowa
Jazz Composers Orchestra at the Redstone Room the 19th at 6. Quad City Arts hosts the Rose Ensemble at Wesley United Methodist
Church the 15th at 2, the First Presbyterian
Church the 17th at 7:30, or catch coffee and
doughnuts with the group at the Hauberg Estate
on the 18th at 10 AM. Circa ’21 presents the
joyous musical celebration “Kinky Boots”, opening January 15th, and the Bucktown Revue
open their 2020 season January 17th at the Nighswader Theater. For more information, visit – Thank you Laura. Randy Leasman is the bass
player for the Candymakers, and is part of other rock,
blues, funk, and soul groups, but he was on the River Music
Experience stage by himself when we caught up with him, playing one of his original songs. Here’s Randy Leasman with
“All Because of You”. (guitar strumming) – (singing) All because of you, I wouldn’t change a single thing. You got me feeling new, couldn’t ask for more. I believe it to be true, no other girl can make
me feel the way you do. Diddly diddly doo. You got me singing to you. When I close my eyes, I
see you standing there, so divine, just like an angel in the air. But I can reach for you, run my fingers through your hair. All because of you, there’s hope and no
despair, I hope you realize I’ve got so much more love to give to you. (vocalizing) (guitar strumming) I know you love me too, cause you know how to kill my blues. I’m talking to you, oh, my baby blue. And I believe it to be true, no other girl can make
me feel the way you do. Diddly diddly do. You got me singing to you. When I close my eyes, I
see you standing there looking so divine, just
like an angel in the air. But I can reach for you, run my fingers through your hair. All because of you, there’s
hope and no despair. I hope you realize I’ve got so much more love to give to you, yeah, I’ve got so much
more love to give to you. I’ve got so much more love
to give to you, give to you, give to you. (speaking) Thank you. (clapping) – Randy Leasman with
“Don’t Wait Til Tomorrow”. This weekend, a unique film
series starts in the cities, and it’s aimed at what
you know and don’t know about the world around you. The Quad City’s Environmental
Film Series is being held at the Figge Art Museum
on Sunday afternoons. It’s a project backed by the
Sierra Club, Nahant Marsh, the Singh Family Foundation,
and River Action. But how might the six films change what we know about the environment? Joining us is River Action’s
Executive Director Kathy Wine, thanks so much for joining us. – Thank you. – This is the inaugural season of the Quad City’s Environmental Film Series- why, why did you think
this was important to have? – It is important, we’ve always had a mission to bring people together, and looking at problems and
then laying a foundation for some solutions, and with
these environmental films, we really have some up-to-date-
and that’s important to us, to have them new- and some that have a whole variety of focus, and then be able to take the message
from those that are there to the community at large. We’re helped by that, by
having a talk-back after that have professionals
and professors and so on, doctors, in one case, and being able to discuss that with them on either Quad City Connection
or, you know, more in depth. – Yeah. Well, I wonder, I mean,
do you worry sometimes that you’re preaching to the choir? That the people who show
up are the ones that already know there’s a problem? – That could be, although
I’m educated all the time, – [Jim] Ah, exactly, yes. – And that’s where we
get our marching orders, going from this kind of film or book, when it’s our environmental book club, to, actually, some action. And, I wanna say too, that
we think we have films that will really interest
young people, in fact, one of them is sharing six
films that young people were awarded credits for. – Right, exactly, and I wanna
talk about that a little more. – You know, maybe that will
bring that generation in, maybe that isn’t the choir
yet, but becomes the choir. – Well, let’s talk about
the film that kicks off the Environmental Film
Series, “Little Big Farm”. It’s the story of a family that’s kind of, moving out of the big city,
thinking, “Hey, we’re gonna till the soil, we’re gonna be farmers, we’re gonna, really…” And they’re in the
foothills of California, and it doesn’t go well. – No, they have their problems with it. Soil, water issues, not
unlike other farmers in other places of the country. We have those kinds of
organic farmers here now, and again, at our film fest, we will be featuring and have tables and booths by some of the local people, like, we will have someone from
the farmer’s market there. If you attend the local farmer’s markets, you know there are organic farmers. – So you’re watching this film
and you’re trying to also, kind of, showcase some of the things that, some of the solutions, I should say. – That’s right. – Why is that important? I mean, I guess it’s easy
to point out the problem. – Well, if we’re going to
be successful going forward, and, look at, let’s
look at the Quad Cities twenty years from now. What can we say we’re
proud of having done? I hope it’s some of these things that are for the environment
and conservation, clean water, all of it. – Let’s talk about some of the
people that are joining you, the Sierra Club, Nahant
Marsh, of course River Action, the Figge, Singh Family Foundation. Tell me a little bit about these groups, I mean, you’ve gotta be
pretty proud that you guys have all come together. – We are, and I’m really
grateful to Tony Singh and the Singh Foundation. They have been successful
when they sponsored the Jewish Federation Film Series, and, a lot of the format is the same. We learned that 4 o’clock
on a Sunday afternoon does attract people, they
go out for dinner after, but that time worked out well. We avoided the Super Bowl. (Jim laughs) – Good for you. So, if you wanna see a schedule… – But generally, that’s
a really good time. – Yeah, if you wanna see a schedule and all of the films
that are being featured, it is on the River Action website, cause, I mean, it’s about one a month, although I think in April you have two, – That’s right. – They are on Sundays,
they are at 4 o’clock, and like you said, there’s
a discussion period after. Let’s talk about some of the other issues, cause you also, some of
the other films handle young environmentalists. You were talking about that,
where kids were actually making their own documentary. – That’s right, we really want, and we have some locally too,
but we really want to champion what young people, having the
fortitude and the tenacity to tackle some of these
things and take a look at the issues, have done,
and it’s art, an art form, their video, their film,
so that’s interesting, they’ve won an award for that, but just the things they’re taking on as serious issues that their
generation cares about. And we do too because of it. – And another film that
you’re talking about will deal with water depletion, which is, you don’t think of it as a
big issue here in the midwest, especially when, you know,
you’ve got floods and all that, but it is a major issue in
other parts of the U.S., and of course around the world. – That’s right, I mean, so many
places have too much water, so many have not enough, and those are issues we need to address. – And then, the one that I
thought that was interesting that you were talking
about a little bit earlier, and that has to do with
toxins in our own body. – Yes. – Tell me a little bit about the filmmaker in that particular story
and why this really does impact so many people. – It was a young woman
who became interested in what kinds of toxins our
blood would show, you know, that we absorb, either
in makeup or other ways, and her findings were kind
of astounding, and alarming. – Cause so many people
use makeup, of course, – That’s right, we do! – So that would be a concern. – That’s right. – But you don’t necessarily
know what you’re putting on. – That’s right, no. – That’s one of the films as well. Five dollars, once again, for adults, two dollars for students,
and you really want to see some students there. – I do, and also, we do
have a season ticket, all six films can be purchased
with just twenty dollars or, you know, two free that
way, so that’s a bargain. – And once again, the schedule is at the River Action website. – Yes, you can trailers of
these movies there, too. – Wanna talk about another
issue real quickly, and we have seen a very
tough year, of course, with the floods, and
we’re seeing right now the Mississippi river at a higher level than we usually see – [Kathy] Yes, we do. – During this period of year, so, it gets you a little concerned about coming up in the spring, – [Kathy] It does. – And summer, and fall. Let me ask you about one of the proposals that they’ve been talking
about on the Iowa side, and that is an expansion of Nahant Marsh, an expansion of wetlands. – Yes. One of the stories I keep
hearing is that Nahant Marsh did a yeoman’s job dealing with trillions of gallons of water. What do you think is
going to happen as far as expansion of wetlands to the U.S., particularly, I would think,
to the west of Davenport? – Yes. I believe that’s one of the number one solutions, and one of the
most important to tackle now. I compare it to when
mid-American goes out and finds where they’re gonna get electricity for really hot days, really cold days, they know in advance where
the power’s coming from, and if we did that, and found easements on farms and in corporate parks and so on where water could be retained
for the period of a flood, they could be compensated
for any damage or clean-up, but it would eliminate,
just like the Nahant Marsh, which you can see, it flows over waplo, it flows into all of those wetlands, you can see how that helps,
and I would like to see that become a priority. – So many people just say “build a wall”, but Davenport is arguing, or
a lot of people in Davenport are arguing, that it just pushes
the problem further south. As a matter of fact, I
believe Davenport got a lot of accolades for
the way it dealt with the flood right now. – Starting with 1993, Jim,
it started to get accolades. Yeah. That was the city with the
largest, the largest city on the upper Mississippi,
no formal flood control, had less cost involved in
cleanup than the cities that had breaches in their
flood walls or dykes. – And so what we saw
in 2019 could be, what, the real wake-up call
for what we’re gonna see along the river for the next
10, 20, generations ahead. – Yes, I believe rain
events will be larger, and we can be looking at more flooding. And you’re right about this coming year, from what I’ve heard
from the weather service, it looks very probable. – We’ll be talking about that
in shows to come as well. Kathy Wine, always nice to see you. – Thank you, Jim, yes. – From River Action, once again, the Quad Cities Environmental Film Series will be at the Figge
Museum, and you can get more information on that
by just checking out And we wanna welcome you to a big party we’re throwing in our own honor. It’s not much longer until WQPT’s Champagne on the Rocks event, it’s coming up Friday, January 24th, at the Rhythm City Casino and Resort. It’s a night for you
to bid on great prizes, and perhaps win some jewelry! Tickets are now available,
get details about Champagne on the Rocks
at our website, On the air, on the radio, and on the web, and on your mobile device, thanks for taking some time
to join us as we talk about the issues on The Cities. – [Female Announcer] A proud
supporter of this program, River Bend Foodbank’s
vision is a hunger free Iowa and Illinois. – [Male Announcer] Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and
Crematory has been serving Quad City families since 1889. Wheelan-Pressly funeral
homes are located in Rock Island, Milan, and Reynolds, and are proud supporters of WQPT.

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