Flu Foolish


I used to be “flu foolish.” My attitude used to be, if my government wants me to do something, I am going to think long and hard about complying. I get that distrust of authority from my father, and growing up in an era where government has either seriously erred or fallen short through inaction. I have the local New River and Salton Sea as a couple of examples of government failure, but the list is very long. These projects and other things maintain my lack of faith in local, state, and the federal organizations.  When the feds encouraged me to get the flu shot, I used to bluntly say, “Forget you!”

When it comes to the flu and the flu shot, I have been foolish. I used to be unwilling to get the fall flu shot, although every year my wise wife would get it, and castigate me for my stubbornness. Meanwhile, my health was getting worse, and the toll paid to the god of influenza became more and more. I was getting sick more frequently, staying sick longer, and some of the bugs just wouldn’t be gone. In my earlier years, a cold was a 4-5 day affair, but in the past decade it became a 4-5 week annoyance.

I am now the poster boy for the flu shot, and I made my faithful sojourn to the county health department last week and got injected to keep from being infected. It is one of the best deals in town, especially to those who are older (at risk) or have chronic respiratory conditions (asthma, etc.). My family which has asthma, has been to both the walk-in clinic, (which this year took me less than 15 minutes) and the drive-thru clinic at the fairgrounds. Both had reasonable prices and quick service. The quick shot can keep from getting colds, flu and other diseases, keep your immune system strong, and can keep the more health challenged out of the ER. Inoculations may prevent some illness, but it also reduces the severity of your illness. I get the shot while my grandson gets a flu shot up the nose through a nasal spray. Very kid friendly.

We are in a new era of health care. We now have more incurable diseases like HIV, MRSA, and other stuff. We are also in the last days, where our good friend Jesus stated “There will be earthquakes, famines, and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.” (Luke 21:11) We will all get sick at times, but we need to be wise and good stewards of our health. Wisdom is defined as “knowledge of what is right and true, coupled with judgment as to action.” A fool, may have the information, but does not put it into action. The classic example is Jimbo here (me), being a smoker for nearly 3 decades. I knew it was bad, but I just wasn’t willing to do what was good.

We have very poor air quality here in the valley, and it may or may not get better. That increases our risk for respiratory problems.  Although the world around us may be falling apart, we don’t have to. In order to maximize health, in a threatening situation, it requires sound decision making. This is especially true if you are a member of a more at-risk population. Fall has fallen, and the flu season is here. Do yourself, you family, and friends a favor. Don’t be flu foolish.