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JANICE WELLS: Go get your flu shot … seriously

Nurse Nancy Stanley at the Mundy Pond clinic giving me a painless flu shot. — Contributed
Nurse Nancy Stanley at the Mundy Pond clinic giving me a painless flu shot. — Contributed

Newman and I got our flu shots this week. It was painless in more ways than one.

I almost didn’t feel the shot itself and in fact asked if that was it, and the time it took to go through two check-in stations, the short socially distanced line-up and the shot itself was about 10 minutes. And it was all indoors.

People arrived in a steady steam and left the same way. They all had appointments. They either booked online through their health region’s website or called 1-833-951-3904.

To me there are four kinds of flu shot people.

There are intelligent people who consider it sensible to get a flu shot every year, intelligent people who just don’t bother, intelligent people who don’t believe in flu shots and then there are not particularly intelligent people who fall into any of those categories.

Among the ones who don’t bother are the ones who think the flu is just like a bad cold and nothing to worry about.

You know who you are.

Trust me, you’ve never had the flu. You may say have the flu every time you get a head cold but you don’t. And if you just happen to be of the male gender don’t blame me for pointing it out. There’s a reason why the term “man cold” exists. Leave your wife alone; get over it.

Here are the facts of the matter of cold versus flu from Eastern Health’s website: “The flu is much more severe and is the result of a different virus. The flu can also lead to more severe illnesses like pneumonia. Flu symptoms may include fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, and a stuffy nose, and can last for over a week. The flu can result in hospitalization and even death.”

Moving on up the scale we have the COVID deniers who say this coronavirus is no worse than the flu. Is it just me or are they not mostly Trump supporters?

Trump supporters are still saying he won the election, or would have had it been fair. There are reports of COVID deniers denying the danger or even existence of the virus right up until their last breath.

It boggles the mind.

But don’t think for a minute that this is an American phenomenon.

Here are some Facebook quotes from Newfoundlander friends in Ontario. (I’m chagrined to admit that I sometimes write back. I know I shouldn’t. I do not speak Martian and these people might as well be from Mars for all I understand them.)

“To all my people back home ... I just want you to know that I was not the one person out of the 14.57 million living in Ontario that died from COVID-19 yesterday. Phew, that was close!!”

Very droll. That was a while back.

Yesterday the death count was thirty four.

“The COVID numbers are not rising, the survival rate is. Last time I checked it was 99.66%”. That was only yesterday, Helloooo?? Is anybody in there?

“96% of those deceased were past their best-before-age of three score and 10.”

One would be forgiven for assuming that people of younger years are pointing this out but such is not my experience.

It is a fact that seniors are particularly susceptible to viruses, be they flu or COVID, even young seniors, (ie Boomers ha ha). However I respectfully point that as people in their seventies Newman and I may be past our best-before-date, but we do not feel particularly close to our expiry date.

So we make choices.

We get flu shots. We will get a COVID vaccine when we can. We wear masks. We drink and don’t drive. We drive and don’t text. We do these things for ourselves, for the people we love and for the people who love us and for the general good.

Because every choice we make affects someone else.

Janice Wells lives in St. John’s.

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1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

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