Every year at this time, the sounds of coughing, sneezing and nose blowing fill the air as our co-workers, children, and complete strangers in the grocery store spray tiny microscopic droplets of a killer virus all over the doorknobs, faucets, and carts. Get ready folks … influenza season is officially here and you know what that means—it’s time for your annual flu shot.
I think you’ve heard the alarming statistics. Every year, approximately 14 billion people die from the flu, 10 million become sick enough to require a hospital stay, and 3 million still show up for work and infect the rest of us who are innocently working on our computers, unaware that their tiny germs are flying around us like little invisible mosquitoes.
As a result, everywhere we go these days, Nurse Ratchett is lurking in the shadows awaiting our arrival with a long needle and an evil smile. I visited my doctor a couple of weeks ago with an infected hangnail and before I could get over the shock of the numbers on the scale when she weighed me, Nurse Ratchett had pushed up my sleeve, rubbed my arm with alcohol, and injected me with what she said was a “dead virus.” I just have one question: How do they know the virus is really dead?
I’ve heard lately that flu shot clinics are popping up everywhere. Fans attending a high school football game in California will be able to get a flu or pneumonia shot in the high school parking lot before kick-off. Advertisements are written with creative flair. Get a pedicure and flu shot and receive a free sugar scrub. Go to the movies and get a flu shot while you’re waiting in line for popcorn. Drive to the pumpkin patch with your kids and while you’re feeling your way through the dark haunted house, one of the ghouls will inject you before you can scream, “I HAD ONE OF THESE SHOTS ONCE AND I GOT SICK RIGHT AFTER WITH THE FLU—THEY DON’T WORK! The possibilities are endless.
At our house every flu season, it never fails. Immediately after I share a drinking glass with one of my children, they announce, “I feel hot and I have a sore throat!” I rush to the sink, wash my lips and my tongue with hand sanitizer, but it’s too late. As a result, in recent years, I’ve stood in line at the local grocery store to get my own flu shot and just as the nurse jabs the needle in my arm and informs me that it takes the flu shot two weeks to begin warding off the virus, one of my kids grabs their throat and says weakly, “I don’t feel good.”
Sometimes no matter what you do in life, you just can’t prepare for everything.
Enjoy this video courtesy of the David Letterman Show.