04 February, 2014

In Flew Enza

I opened the window and in flew Enza.

A lots of folks are talking about the flu this year. Some had it. Some didn't. Some got the shot. Some didn't. Everyone has an opinion, but no one got it in their butt. Arm, yes; butt, no.

I had the Asian Flu in 1957 or 58. That was a bad one - killing well over a million world-wide. Pretty much all I remember is being quite ill but especially having trouble controlling my bowels. Oh, the misery.

That was, of course, the last time I had it. Although the vaccine was developed in 1944, it wasn't popular - not like today anyway. I have gotten the shot every year for at least the last four decades, and it's kept me healthy. I do have several of the characteristics that put me smack dab in the 'oughta get' category - so I don't dare miss it. I'm one of those the flu might kill

I hear people say they got sick from it. No they didn't; it's not possible. They may have contracted the flu around the time the got the shot, but it was just a coincidence. If they had gotten the vaccine sooner, they might have avoided the flu completely, If not, it would at least be a milder version. There is more nonsense about the flu vaccine than any other vaccine out there, and the 'it causes flu' belief is the most common myth.

So ... take it next year or don't. Just don't expect a lot of sympathy from me if you get sick and you didn't get the shot.

The 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak was another bad pandemic, killing 20-40 million. A popular ditty from that era follows. Children skipped rope to it.

        I had a little bird,
        It's name was Enza.
        I opened the window,
        And in-flu-enza.

I heard it often as a child from my 94-year-old mother who always gets the shot.