This week’s question: Flu season is around the corner. Do you plan to get a flu shot? What’s been your experience with the flu?
Jeff Rogers, editor
I don't think I ever have gotten a flu shot. I'll take a moment to let the health care professionals out there finish gasping.
It's not that I'm averse to shots – at least not any more than the average person. (I do blood draws every 6 months for my semiannual checkups, and they don't faze me.) It's just that I don't take the time. And, more importantly, I can't think of the last time I had the flu. Or at least had a flu serious enough to notice and be kept out of work.
We newspaper types are kind of a hardy bunch. Some would call us stupid. It takes a lot for us to call in sick. There's always a deadline to meet. An event to cover. A something that can't possibly be missed because of a little fever! So, we usually work through our sniffles, coughs and chills.
I'll take another moment. I hear the gasping.
So, being a newspaper type, I know I won't get sick. Therefore, I see no reason to get the flu shot.
Like I said, some would call us stupid. And there you go again, gasping.
Jennifer Heintzelman, advertising director
I typically get flu shots every year. I've gotten them through work and at a doctor’s office, and I recently learned that some local pharmacies provide them as well.
However, I did NOT get a flu shot last year. Guess who got the flu? It spread throughout my entire household.
I'm not one to typically take any sick time off of work. I was off for two days, and my husband was off for one, which is a big deal for us. The kids got sick and had to take time off of school. It was not a fun time in my house.
I can take the sniffles, but fevers will do me in to the point that I cannot get out of bed.
It's easy to assume, flu shots are in my family’s near future for this year’s season. I don't want to go through that again!
Jim Dunn, editorial page editor
As I was walking into Walmart the other day, a nice woman standing at the door asked, “Would you like to get a flu shot? There’s no waiting right now.”
In a hurry, I declined, but I realize I should take the flu a lot more seriously than I do. I haven’t gotten a flu shot for the past several years, and I have no good excuse.
There are a number of important reasons to get immunized. I should know. My great-grandfather on my mother’s side died in the influenza pandemic of 1918-19.
But my first experience with a flu shot did not go well. It was the swine flu outbreak of 1976, and at the college I attended, they strongly recommended that students get immunized. So I took the shot – and got sicker than a dog (maybe “hog” would be a better word) for several days.
It took awhile to overcome my misgivings over flu shots, but I eventually did. And the next time that nice lady at Walmart asks the same question, I’ll say, “Yes, ma’am,” and roll up my sleeve.