After many years of quiet flu seasons, the current winter epidemic is shaping up to be something pretty terrible. Boston is officially an emergency zone, with more than 700 reported cases and 18 deaths so far. The South is already racking up flu deaths, with 22 deaths in South Carolina alone. Thousands have been hospitalized nationwide, and the flu is jumping to other patients.
What can you do? Go get a flu shot! Even if you "don't care about getting the flu," because you're unemployed or insane or look forward to a real-life version of The Stand, please get a flu shot so that you're not infecting everybody else. Sometimes, the vaccine is "off," and doesn't prevent the dominant flu of a particular season. This year, the vaccine is right for the common influenza out there. In many cases, getting a quick shot in the arm is preferable to death.
The vaccines are free at many public health clinics and senior centers and other places with socialism, while your "flex spending" will cover the $15 at the drug store if you're lucky enough to have health insurance. And even if it's cash forever lost, $15 is far cheaper than losing two weeks of your life to a stupid pig flu or whatever it is, this year. If you somehow don't know where the Duane Read or Walgreens can be found in your neighborhood, use this little widget deal by typing in your zip code.
Even the nation's hated congressional representatives are encouraging Americans to get a flu shot … the Democratic representatives, anyway. We noticed in this story from Washington politics newspaper The Hill that all of the congressmen tweeting about getting vaccines are Democrats, except for one brave California Republican, Rep. Jeff Denham. Even if Republicans in Congress believed in the scary science about medicine and disease and evolution, they are loathe to admit it on Twitter. Better to have your entire constituency die from influenza rather than suggest a government-subsidized flu vaccine might be good for people. Vaccines are just a plot, anyway, so the U.N. can take our precious assault rifles.