It is Flu Season, we’re told. Obvious rules apply. Stay away from people if you’re sick; don’t lick doorknobs; cough into the crook of your elbow or, if you’re into yoga, behind your knee. And get a shot. Questions?
Where can I get a shot? Everywhere. I feel odd getting one in a grocery store, no matter how convenient; it’s like going to Abbott Northwestern for a can of corn.
Target has them, but don’t expect to get a $5 gift card if you get three flu shots at once. In a few years they’ll have them at oil change places, which would be handy but they’ll probably try to upsell you a complete blood transfusion with winter-weight plasma.
Ideally, you could get them at Starbucks — double shot of espresso and a double shot of vaccine — making you so potent you could immunize other people by staring at them.
Will it hurt? I’m nervous and hate shots. Flu shots do not hurt. Remember when you were a kid, and a shot felt like an Olympic javelin tosser hurled a railroad spike at your arm? I used to hate that. OW OW OW OW OW! Sir, I’m just applying the antiseptic. Today’s needles are so thin you hardly feel the cold, sharp, impersonal object sliding into your flesh, so relax. It’s like a mosquito bite, except you can’t slap the nurse,
Does this year’s vaccine feel weird? Sometimes it feels weird. I know what you mean. One year it’s nothing, and the next you feel like they injected you with liquefied sponge soaked in chlorine. This year’s vaccine was somewhere between angel tears and unicorn spittle.
Does the flu have a name like H2B4, or something? I like to work that into conversations to appear smart. Probably. I think we should name flu strains like hurricanes, except call it by the name of the first confirmed case. I won’t be into work; I feel like I’m coming down with the Harvey.
How bad will this flu season be? I can’t say, but the Center for Disease Control’s flu page has this question: “How do I know if I have seasonal influenza or Ebola?” I can answer that. Is there a tent around your house and men in space suits on the lawn with flamethrowers? No? Then don’t worry.
Unless your name is Harvey.