The flu is kind of like dodgeball: loads of fun when you were a kid, potentially deadly when you’re old.
I loved dodgeball as a kid. In third grade, I was in my groove. It’s quite possible I peaked at age 8. I grinned with confidence, flashing newly minted “permanent” teeth, as I entered the final round against the wily Lisa Romano.
We zigged and zagged the mambo of raw competition, as the third-period gym class clock wound down. Suddenly, she launched a dagger, low and away. With the quickness of a cat, and the grace of another cat, I dove. The hushed crowd roared as I snagged the ball an inch from the ground to seal the victory. I also landed on my face, and busted my new front tooth and had to wear a metal cap on it until seventh grade. Fun times.
I loved being home sick as a kid, too. To save you another long, boring Prickett story, the bottom line is this: I ain’t no kid no more. I try to avoid sickness as much as I do dodgeball. So, I get a flu shot.
I’m not going to pummel you with statistics (there were 79,400 flu-related deaths in the United States during the 2017–2018 flu season), or barrage you with headlines (2019 Could Be Worst in Years). The truth is, the spread and severity of the flu virus is tough to predict. Last year was a bad year. This year could be worse. Or maybe not. Just get the damn flu shot.
Nearly every pharmacy and supermarket around is giving shots. Many health insurance plans cover the full cost, and most pharmacies offer cash-only pricing for people without insurance. [See cash price for flu shots at local pharmacies.]
While I’m on the flu-shot soap box, allow me: If you’re 50 or older, consider a shingles vaccination, too. Shingles are no joke, kind of like playing dodgeball in a patch of jumping chollas. From the Mayo Clinic website: “Some experts estimate that half the people age 80 or older will have shingles.”
My new mantra: Don’t dodge the shot! (If you didn’t see that coming, then you don’t know me very well.)