Re rant on Flu Season ( now taken down )
I beg to differ, Mr. Publisher
Yes, different strains of the flu do affect different parts of the population. By that I mean that one strain may produce more significant outcomes in children than young adults while another strain may affect young adults and not children.
Each year, the “mix” that is put into the current flu shot is designed to be effective against the expected strains for that year. Yes, sometimes it misses the mark. This year, from what I understand, the “mix” was good – meaning the prediction, the preparation, and the reality were coincident.
To get the flu shot or not is an adult decision. You are an adult and you get to decide.
As I understand it, the process is inoculation with a vaccine to stimulate immunization.
The other route to immunization is to survive an infection by the virus. So, if I could guess which strains would be present in any given year and eliminate from that list any that I have already survived and then find some number of individuals actively enduring the remaining strains and get them to infect me and then suffer and survive then I could be assured of immunization without getting the flu shot.
I choose inoculation. Every year. It is simpler.
But, it is not simply to avoid the flu. In many cases, those who experience the worst of having the flu are those who develop secondary infections. As I understand it, it is the secondary infection that kills in most cases. If no flu, no secondary inflection.
And, in addition, I take it as my personal responsibility to society to not infect others. By developing immunization as a result of inoculation, I will not become ill and infect others – some of whom might be older than me – as you are – and less able to survive.
I will say again that getting shot up or not is an adult decision. Should you choose not to, Jack, would you at least do us all a favour please. If you contract the flu this season would you mind flying a contagion flag over your house. A yellow flag is historically appropriate.
You owe that much to society.