The Flu Shot Factor

Today at lunch the Bus Riding Conservative announced that he had received his flu shot.  It made me realize I’ve never had one.

Even during the years when you hear the direst predictions about virulent flu strains sweeping the nation and knocking people down for weeks, I refrain from getting a flu shot.  I’m not sure why, exactly.  I’m not afraid of needles, nor am I one of those people who is opposed to immunization on the basis of some obscure religious belief or sense of social consciousness.  I’ve received all my vaccinations and am happy to obtain booster shots when the doctor instructs.

They didn’t have flu shots when I was a kid, so I never got used to having them.  And when I first heard about them as an adult, there always seemed to be issues about shortages.  The news stories would say that the flu shots really should be reserved for young kids and seniors, and I was neither.  I figured I would leave the shots for the people who really needed them, and that mindset still lurks — even though I’ve moved a lot closer to the senior citizens category over the years.

I’ve never really had a problem with the flu, so I don’t have any awful experience that would motivate me to change my approach.  (This probably means, of course, that this year will be the year.)  And there are studies that raise questions about the effectiveness of flu shots from year to year.  If there’s a chance that a flu shot is just going to make me feel bad, and isn’t going to provide much assurance that I’m not going to get the flu anyway, why worry about it?

So this year, I’ll leave the flu shots to the seniors, the kids, and the BRC.  We’ll see if I make it through flu season flu-free.

Green Eggs And Obamacare

Yesterday Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican, took to the Senate floor for an extended period in his effort to avoid funding for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.  In a filibuster-type move, Cruz read Dr. Seuss’ classic Green Eggs and Ham into the Congressional Record.

We all remember Green Eggs and Ham.  It featured some poor, benighted soul who claimed to hate green eggs and ham being badgered relentlessly by Sam I Am until he finally tried the dish . . . and found to his surprise that he liked it.  Of course, that part of the story doesn’t fit into the Republican story line.  They would end the story, instead, by saying that the country has tried Obamacare as various provisions have rolled out over the past few years and has decided — Uncle Sam I Am’s hectoring notwithstanding — that they really don’t want the Affordable Care Act.

In any case, it’s easy to see the diehard Republican opposition to Obamacare stated in the cadence of Green Eggs and Ham:

We do not like it on a stair.

We do not like it in the air.

We do not like Obamacare.

We do not like it anywhere!