This flu season appears to be pretty bad, and it has set me to wondering whether or not I got a flu shot the last time I saw my doctor in the early fall. It’s possible. I recall some sort of pain, but it could simply be from when they told me what portion of the visit my health insurance covered.
(Not to get knee-deep in numbers, but it was somewhere in the area of “not much.”)
I’ve seen a lot of family and friends dealing with the flu in the last month or so, and I don’t want it. That gives me a good excuse to not be in large groups. Or in small groups. Actually, it’s a pretty darn good reason to stay away from other humans in general. I’m a bit of a loner anyway, and after watching many episodes of “Planet Earth” on BBC America I’m convinced that humans are pretty overrated as mammals in general.
A couple days a week, I work in an office with two desks — one is for me, and at the other sits an old console TV that has been in here since 2011 without so much as being plugged in. Often, I’ll shut the doors to the office, put on some smooth jazz and do some serious work — such as pondering stuff — with the nearest human and whatever flu or other contagion they might be carrying at least 20 feet from my door. I should be safe at work.
Two or three days a week, I work from my home office, which is upstairs and at least 50 yards from the nearest contagious-with-God-knows-what neighbor. I eat mostly at home instead of crowded restaurants and my primary social interaction consists of yelling at squirrels to get out of my bird feeders. So I think I’m safe from the flu, albeit slightly insane.
Other folks aren’t so fortunate to avoid contact with flu-carrying people. They have to travel in airplanes and share the air with 300 strangers for a thousand miles. Or they have to work in retail, restaurants or hospitals where they most definitely are going to be around sickly folks.
The worst incubators for the flu, though, might be schools. Have you met a middle-schooler? These are kids who have to be reminded to wash their hands and brush their teeth and that Cheez Whiz is not one of the main food groups. If they’re not carrying the flu, they’re at least carrying a bad cold or the Glock they found in their dad’s nightstand. School kids are dangerous.
Yet, a lot of schools still reward kids for having perfect attendance. When I was in school, I managed to avoid the horror of going to school every day because I often suffered from tummy aches or hypochondria or splendid weather better suited for fishing.
I knew kids, though, whose parents sent them to school even if they had the flu, mono or their very own Glock. For every kid that got an award for perfect attendance, 14 had to spend time home sick — which is an absolute scientific fact that I almost certain did not just make up. The kids who went to school with Glocks also got sick but got better grades on subjective tests and book reports.
“It’s like I read the book and didn’t just watch the movie … ain’t it, Mrs. Jones?”
So, stay away from other humans. Even when they’re not sick, they’re probably not worth being around. And quit making your sick kids go to school. Speaking as someone who contracted the flu at least 64 times in the 1980s, not only are they less likely to spread illnesses, but they’re more likely to feel much better at the fishing hole than in algebra class.
And that’s a scientific fact — which I’ve personally tested and verified.
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