Iya’s and Friends
422 W Gallatin
Vandalia, IL 62471
Normal Hours: Tuesday – Friday 10:00 – 5:30 and Saturday 10:00 – 4:00
Winter Hours: Wednesday – Friday 10:00 – 5:30 and Saturday 10:00 – 4:00
No employees at this time, just me and 30 Vendors. Vendors volunteer to help me from time to time.
Each Vendor will do their individual sales at any given time. We do have giveaways, drawings for items throughout the year. We have sidewalk sales during the summer. Participate with City/downtown festivities. Shop Small, Olde Tyme Christmas, Farmers Markets, etc. We have some of our own too. Becoming popular is our Bah Humbug Weekend! Usually between shop small and Olde Tyme Christmas. Just come in and say Bah Humbug and receive a free gift. Just a small way for us to give back to our customers who have come in all year.
We were the official Bicentennial Store during the Vandalia Bicentennial Celebration. It was a lot of work but was great fun. We still have some Bicentennial merchandise for sale. We also sell items for the City of Vandalia, Fayette County Museum, National Road, Vandalia Historical Society, etc. Our store and vendors have donated to Shop with the Cop, Unity Baptist Church, Charter’s Patio, Food Pantry, etc. We donate items to fundraisers for silent auctions, etc. We also have sent items and money to a family in Ghana, Africa. I got to know them by sending a box through Church and Good Samaritan Purse. I included a letter to them and received a letter back! Our family is Pastor Joe Dassah, his wife and children. His son Asher received my box a few years back. What a blessing. Wishing I could do more for them but shipping costs are horrible! Asher has recently graduated high school and wants to come to the US to go to college. Then COVID hit! Still wants to but waiting awhile. His sister wants to as well, but she is younger. We face time each other often. I have made and given away 100’s and 100’s of crocheted dish cloths. These have been handed out at Olde Tyme Christmas by my husband Mayor Ricky Gottman. The first year I gave away 200, have done it a few years. We didn’t giveaway as many this year, (COVID) but still crocheting away.
I have always been involved with this Community in some fashion. I have sat on many boards, resided as President on a few. Some include the Friends and Families of Fayette County Hospital, Vandalia Historical Society, Cameo Women’s Club, Bowling, etc My shop sponsors 2 bowling teams and I bowl on both/Tuesday and Thursday nights, so much fun! I am not a good bowler but we do have a lot of fun. Great bunch of girls!
My shop offers, hand crafted items, new, used, vintage, antique, unique items not found just anywhere. Items are affordable prices. We get new items in every day. I am blessed with a great group of vendors. COVID may have slowed us down, but it hasn’t stopped us yet! We do have a Face Book page but no website yet.
The name “Iya” came from my Goddaughter, who is also my Great Niece. She has called me Iya from the time she could speak. Not sure how Iya came from Anita, but…..
I think we started with around 12 vendors and have grown to 30. We are planning our 4th year in business celebration which will be this coming June. We call it our Birthday Party. Always been my dream to own my own shop. Almost to the 4 year mark! A lot of work but has been so much fun and so rewarding. You hear customer’s comments on how clean the shop is, it smells so good, how they love our displays, they just love it and keep coming back. I have heard some even say it is their favorite place to go. It makes your heart happy when you hear these types of comments. We have received several of the Best in County Awards. I received the Economic Impact Business of the Year Award from the City in 2019. That same year I was named Woman of the Year by the Soroptimist International of Vandalia. So Honored and humbled by these awards.
Shop, eat and get serviced locally! There are so many small businesses in our community that have so much to offer. So shop, eat, get your construction, plumbing, electricity, etc. Local! We all rely on you!
Past President Kara Metzger passes
Influenza Cases at an All-Time Low
(Central and Southern Illinois) Early February 2020 we held our breath, waiting to see how far and quickly COVID would spread in the United States. This was not the only health care concern spreading across Illinois last winter. Before COVID arrived, we were in the midst of an unusually severe flu season. By the first week of February, HSHS Medical Group had recorded nearly 700 positive flu cases across central and southern Illinois. By the end of April we had reached more than 2,000 cases.
This winter, however, is drastically different. Flu cases are at an all-time low, with less than 50 positive cases in HSHS Medical Group clinics since the beginning of September.
“Our efforts to help curb the spread of COVID are also helping to curb the spread of influenza,” says Valerie Thompson, MD, primary care physician at HSHS Medical Group Medicare Clinic in Springfield, Illinois. It seems that masking, hand washing, social distancing and decreased gatherings have all contributed to an extremely mild flu season.
If these precautions have worked so well to lower our flu cases, why haven’t we always done this in the United States? “Many countries around the world, including multiple countries in Asia and Europe, have been masking for other infections including influenza for a number of years,” says Dr. Thompson. “In those countries, any time a person is sick, it’s a societal norm to mask to prevent the spread. Some even wear masks on public transits even if they aren’t sick.”
“Now that we have numbers in front of us and can show that we’ve made a huge dent in the spread of influenza, it should be something the United States tries to recommend in the future,” says Dr. Thompson. Many of Dr. Thompson’s patients at the Medicare clinic are considered at risk for complications due to influenza. Even after COVID is no longer a major concern, Dr. Thompson will start recommending her higher risk patients mask, wash hands frequently and take other precautions during the winter months.
“There could be some explanation as we were stressing the flu vaccine even more than usual because our hospitals were so overburdened with COVID patients,” says Dr. Thompson. The CDC has not yet released information on the effectiveness of this season’s flu vaccine, and since the cases are so low, it may not be easy to evaluate how well the vaccine actually worked.
There is still potential for flu cases to increase this winter as the COVID vaccine is distributed and people stop following current precautions. Dr. Thompson says she still recommends the flu vaccine this year. This is especially important to protect those at high risk for flu complications, such as the elderly.
HSHS Medical Group primary care offices have flu vaccines available for their patients. Dr. Thompson recommends that anyone with the COVID vaccine scheduled should wait two weeks between their COVID vaccination and flu vaccination. Patients should prioritize the COVID vaccination and get that first if it is available to them.
What about other winter illnesses?
Influenza isn’t the only illness curtailed by COVID precautions. Pediatricians are also seeing a decrease in strep pharyngitis (strep throat). Brock Phillips, MD, pediatrician with HSHS Medical Group, says strep likely spreads due to close contact, as the bacteria is spread by respiratory secretions from someone who is infected. Infections usually occur in school age children, peaking around age seven.
Last winter, HSHS Medical Group had nearly 700 cases of strep throat by early February. This winter, strep cases are nearly half that.
“I do believe good hygiene such as frequent hand washing, avoid touching nose/eyes, wearing masks, and social distancing precautions implemented against COVID has decreased the incidence of strep pharyngitis as well,” says Dr. Phillips.
As children return to school and other activities, Dr. Phillips still recommends precautions to keep families healthy: “Strep is still out there in the community, so continuing proper hand hygiene and staying home when sick is important to limit the spread.”