Wednesday, January 16, 2013

...The Flu Shot Might Not Be For You...

This past Saturday the temperature got up all the way up to 58 and in Michigan that’s hoodie and flip-flop weather for some folks.


And yet…

(Jimmy Kimmel Live presents LA Overreacts to the “Cold” Weather)



It’s funny because it’s true. Those Californians thought they were mighty funny with the tweets when we had that minor earthquake in Michigan last year(?).

Yeah, well, who’s laughing now?

Fifty-something in January is enough to make certain Midwest populations considering streaking through the local park.

Which is probably why so many more people had a cold, maybe even the flu when Monday rolled around. I sat next to and two over from some hacking, sneezing messes for two hours in a closed door meeting.

Have you any idea how hard it is to hold your breath for two hours? Darn near impossible.

Both of these folks had taken a flu shot, too. And one of them advocates heavily for flu shots being a requirement for all staff.

She always looks at me when she brings it up because I’m an outspoken opponent.

Naturally, my job offers free flu shots to all employees.

So for my first year here, I’m thinking, “well maybe… okay, it’s free, why not?”

I got the shot and spent the rest of the winter so ill I thought I was going to have to be hospitalized. I don’t know what was really in that thing but there was times my breathing was so labored I thought I had become asthmatic overnight or something.

I was told that it was not uncommon to get sick right after getting the shot so when the announcements rolled out the next year, I decided the first year was a fluke and took the shot.

And then spent another winter fighting one bad cold after another. For about four months straight I was either kind of sick, really sick, or knocking at death’s door.

So the third years rolls around and just for kicks, I say, “I wonder what would happen if I skipped it this year?”

Skip it I did and got through the whole season without so much as a sore throat.

I haven’t had a flu shot since and even though I’ve caught a few colds, nothing has been as bad as those first couple of years I got the so-called vaccine.

How’d that happen?

I’m thinking the best thing you can do to fight the flu is to be smart and careful. And when it applies (and when doesn’t it apply) be considerate.

The flu shot does not relocate you to a plastic bubble where you are completely protected from germs and illness. You can still get sick.

If there’s a spike in temperature or more than three days without snow, keep your clothes on anyway. Fifty degrees feels great in between days of 15 or 22, but it’s still not bikini weather.

I get ridiculed on a regular basis for the amount of layers I wear during the winter months, my giant hats that I’m sure to pull all the way down over my ears and having a scarf not only around my neck but covering my face up to the eyeballs .

But the people pointing and laughing usually have red noses and a bad cough.

Which brings me to my next point, if you’re sick (and this is where the consideration comes in), stay home.

Employers worried about what to do if one person calls in should wonder what they will do when that person comes in and infects six more folks and they have to call in, too.

And until it becomes a law, food service places should just do the right thing and make sure your sick employee takes the time needed to get better. If you feel like you have to have them in the building, at least keep them away from the food.

Now, let’s say staying home just isn’t an option.

Maybe you don’t have the sick hours or you have that obnoxious work environment that makes you feel like the whole company will collapse if you don’t come in ….

Which reminds me: this guy, a big muckety muck around here, he … expired rather suddenly. Very shocking, as he wasn’t even sick; sat down because he felt tired and basically… went away.

I suspect there were tears and hugs, but within hours they had moved some folks around to cover everything that needed to be covered. He was replaced in hours, I tell you.

Now that story might make you feel like you better not ever miss a day or you’ll be replaced before the Nyquil kicks in (or worse, before you’re cold in the ground).

But it’s supposed to remind you that folks will manage without you.

I digress…

If you can’t call in or you have to leave your sick bed for any reason, try not to be flying germ bug.

No one wants your cooties so try not to spread them around.

Cough and sneeze into the crook of your arm.



Throw away any tissue that you use, or if you don’t have tissue use your own upper sleeve.



Wash your hands or sanitize them with waterless sanitizer after every honk or blow. (Ha, ha. You know what I mean.)

As for the mandatory flu shot for healthcare workers and the like, I can only say you’d have to have a grandfather clause on that one. New hires, require it all you like if you feel you must, but current staff shouldn’t be forced out of work because they refuse the flu shot.


I think I learned my lesson with that and the only way you could ever get me to take a flu shot again would be to turn it into an edible substance and slip it into an Andes chocolate mint..

And if the feds are watching, that was NOT a suggestion..

***
This song used to stay on repeat Boyz II Men – Pass You By



Doing my best Thelma dancing on Good Times impersonation right now.
Roy Ayers – Runnin’







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