By Jeff Girod
Flu season is here—about five weeks early. It’s been described as “intense” and “severe” and “the feel-good hit of the summer.” (Actually that last quote might’ve been for the movie Ted.)
But the really scary part? Flu season is just getting started.
“I think we’re still accelerating,” says Tom Skinner, a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As of last week, 2,257 people have been hospitalized with flu, and 18 children have died, according to the CDC.
The good news—if there is any—is that three out of four people who have contracted this year’s flu didn’t get a flu shot, according to Flunearyou.org. The CDC also says this year’s flu shot is more than 60 percent effective.
I got my flu shot on Sunday—at a Target. I figured where better to ensure my long-term survival than a superstore that sells both pharmaceuticals and jaunty Capri pants. I also stopped at the snack shop on my way out. Because if influenza isn’t going to make me sick, three chili corndogs will.
You should get a flu shot, too. If only because most people are disgusting enough without transforming their torsos into Snoopy Sno Cone Machines. Granted, the flu probably won’t kill you. Everyone else will just wish you were dead while you’re hacking and sneezing your face off.
But you might say, “I have never gotten a flu a shot and I haven’t been sick since 1999.” Congratulations, you’re lucky and a complete idiot. And odds are you have been sick, you’ve just been in denial. You’re probably going to work everyday, snotting all over your keyboard and getting everyone else sick.
I would literally punch a nun if someone could guarantee me that I wouldn’t get the flu. I hate being sick. And what I hate even worse is knowing the reason I’m sick is because some dumbass flunked 10th-grade biology.
But you might say, “The flu shot gives people the flu.” Of course it does, Dr. Seuss. Why else would every person who has ever graduated from medical school tell you to get a flu shot? Tell me, Doogie Howser, what are you basing your expansive research on? The four seasons of ER you watched or that pair of hospital scrubs you bought at Halloween?
Who in their right mind would believe that every doctor in the world is knowingly injecting people with flu—and has been for seven decades since the flu shot was invented? Talk about conspiracy theories. A centerfielder can’t take steroids without everybody finding out. I’m pretty sure if the flu shot gave you flu, I might’ve seen it on Dateline even once.
And since when did everyone become so health conscious? Sure, the flu shot is bad for you, but not those triple shots of espresso you order every morning at Starbucks or that triple bacon cheeseburger you had for lunch. The only difference is the flu’s contagious and a fat ass and heart attacks aren’t.
You don’t get to pick and choose what scientific and technological advances you’re going to participate in. How can anyone who has bought a smart phone or flat screen TV refuse to get a flu shot? You’re either a member of the 21st century or you’re not. And if you’re not, you might as well live in a cave, hide from pterodactyls and go shit in a hole.
Coughing, sore throat, headache, stomach ache, body ache, fever and fatigue: Sure, who wouldn’t want to skip a three-second injection to experience some of that? What’s that? You’re going to liquefy everything you’ve eaten for the last 10 days and fire it out of your nose, mouth and butt? Where do I sign up?
You’re not getting the flu shot for you. You’re getting it for the rest of us. Consider it part of your personal hygiene, as essential as rubbing deodorant under your arms. Nobody wants to sniff your smelly pits and nobody wants to inhale your disgusting vomitous germs.
Get the flu shot. Get the flu shot. Shut your phlegm-y mouth and get the flu shot.
Contact Jeff Girod at firstname.lastname@example.org.