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Preserving Progress 

From The Editor: How to keep yourself, and community, healthy in the year ahead

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For thousands and thousands of years, humans have worked to heal each other. But many of the greatest medical advances have occurred in just the past two centuries. Vaccines, X-rays, anesthesia — where would modern medicine be without any of those? Luckily, we can continue to take for granted pain-free surgery; vaccines new and old shield us from diseases that once ravaged entire populations. We've also moved far beyond X-rays in our methods to see inside the living body. But one of the greatest achievements of modern medicine — the ability to combat and prevent infection through the use of antibiotics — is at risk. As you'll read in Mitch Ryals' report, there is ample cause for concern. That's why a new coalition in Washington state is taking steps to promote the careful and effective use of these essential medications.

Doing what we can to stay healthy is one way to help reduce the use of antibiotics. Keeping vaccinations up to date is a prudent first step; paying daily attention to exercise and sensible eating never hurts. But it can be hard to stay motivated during the long nights of winter, when it's dark by 4 pm. Settling in on the sofa at day's end can be so appealing. Taking a break from routine can help you beat the winter blahs, and that's exactly what our Road Trip feature is designed to do. Linda Hagen Miller has found five beautiful destinations within a half-day's drive that are sure to reinvigorate your commitment to wellness.

To your health!

Anne

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