Flu Paranoia has Hit Home

3_flu2Stay inside and hide under the couch because the flu is coming for you! That seems to be the message this year, and while I would never want the flu, this year is especially worrisome because our house is under construction. There is no place or no privacy to be sick, and there is certainly no TV to help pass the time. We cannot get the flu, but here’s where I acknowledge my laziness: I didn’t get a flu shot.

My kids got the flu mist many months ago on the first day the vaccines arrived at doctors’ offices. Like every year, I planned to get mine too, and despite flu shots being offered just about everywhere, it never worked well into my schedule. I could have made it work, I just didn’t. I felt justified in my laziness because my kids were immunized and my husband makes sure to get a flu shot every year. He was already questioning my decision to not get one…which was especially confusing when I found out he didn’t get one either. Great, two parents, no shots.

Suddenly, getting a shot was a top priority, but now it may be too late as the usual places are out of stock. I called and walked in to several spots, all to no avail. We’re on a waiting list at Walgreens, but they don’t know when their next shipment will arrive. Being that it takes two weeks for the vaccine to become effective, it may be too late. In the meantime, everyone gets the evil eye.

Due to the remodel, we spend a lot of time out of the house, and the local library has to be ground zero for any epidemic. Many of the people there seem to be sleeping something off, maybe it’s a fever. I’ve decided not to lather myself in hand sanitizing gels because I suspect those make people more susceptible to illness due to a lack of natural immunity from routine germ exposure. Hand washing and avoiding sick people is what we’re relying upon. That means when you get an email that your daughter’s friends are sick, you start to panic just a wee bit. Or if your son suddenly has a voice that’s a tiny bit scratchy, you feel his forehead compulsively. When an adult at Costco sneezes without covering her mouth, creating a germ sprinkler, you hold your breath and consider buying surgical masks in bulk.

Next year, I pledge to be less lazy and make it a priority to get my shot before flu season begins. While not totally effective, I’d still feel better having taken the extra precaution. If Walgreens would call, I’d feel a lot better now.

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