This year I got my first flu shot ever. I hadn’t really thought about doing it before this year, because in the past — admittedly, probably about 10 years ago, or maybe more — I’d read somewhere that flu shots were in short supply and really should be reserved for the very young and the elderly. So I’d forget about it, go through the flu season without a problem, and sympathize with those folks who were suffering through the flu, which always sounded pretty bad.
This year, though, the flu shot factor was seemingly inescapable. First Kish brought it up and said I should get one, and I always heed her counsel. Then the Red Sox Fan, no doubt in coordination with Kish, started bombarding me with news articles and opinion pieces saying that unless everyone got a flu shot, the flu shots wouldn’t be as effective in preventing the spread of the condition. The Red Sox Fan knew that the “civic obligation” card hadn’t been played before and was likely to have some resonance with a presumably responsible member of the community.
And finally, when I went to the doctor for a check-up recently, he said I should get a flu shot. “Shouldn’t those be reserved for the very young and the elderly?” I asked earnestly, hoping to be relieved of the civic obligation guilt. He looked at me doubtfully in response, no doubt wondering by what definition I was not falling into the “elderly” category, then said: “Don’t worry, we’ve got enough.” He also added, reassuringly, that this year’s flu shot is based on a dead virus, rather than a live one, and therefore is safer. With the unanimous agreement of Kish, my doctor, and the Red Sox Fan, and to address the crushing sense of civic obligation, the choice was inescapable. I told the doctor I was fine with getting one, he promptly darted out of the room and summoned his nurse, who came immediately to give me a shot in the shoulder before I could change my mind. The whole process was over before I knew it.
So, I’ve gotten a flu shot, and I’m happy to report that so far I’ve not gotten the flu. I’ve also been looking at the news to see whether a flu epidemic has been sweeping the nation, and while I’ve seen some indications that the flu has been nasty here and there, it looks like so far Columbus has escaped the worst of it. I’m feeling pretty good about my decision and the help I’ve given to my fellow citizens in Ohio’s capital city.
There’s no need to thank me, really.