The Flu season is back

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You either get the flu shot or you don’t. If you decide not to, you must sign a waiver and then wear a mask at all times once you’ve stepped inside the hospital… At least until the flu season is over, usually sometime in the beginning of April.

This requirement is so serious that if you didn’t comply, you’d end up with leave without pay and eventually fired within a week. So hop to it!

Most people don’t want to get the flu shot because they feel more tired and ill afterwards. They fear getting the flu from the flu shot. But people are much more likely to get the flu from the community than from the flu shot.

Some have an egg allergy, or a family history of Gullian Barre. In this case, definitely don’t get it. Or if you’re body is immunocompromised from another disease. Then adding a dead strain of the flu to your body is probably not a good idea.

Anyhow, wearing a mask all the time isn’t so bad. In fact, in Taiwan majority of hospital workers wear masks, partially due to the H1N1 and SARS virus that broke out a few years ago. The only annoying thing about it is if you wear glasses, it sometimes fogs up the glass or if you have an allergy to the mask material and you break out from it.

I never got the flu shot prior to 5 years ago. I was at Employee Health to get cleared to volunteer at a Cancer Center. The nurse asked if I got the flu shot. I said no and I didn’t want it.

What she said next changed my life. She said,

It’s not just about protecting you; it’s about protecting others.

Cancer patients are definitely immunocompromised. The radiation and chemotherapy is killing off good and bad cells, unfortunately. If I got the flu, my body may be able to fight it off easily but if I cough on someone else (by accident of course), it’d be much easier for them to get the flu.

That day I didn’t get the flu shot because I had a certain pride of never getting the flu shot.

2 days later I got the flu shot. I didn’t want to be that agent to pass on the flu.

For my boyfriend, I encourage him to get the flu shot. Last year we were at a Breast Cancer event in October in Providence, Rhode Island. There, Walgreens was offering free flu shots. So he got one.

This year I encouraged him to get the flu shot again. He didn’t want to because it’s an out of pocket expense. However, at his work they were doing an experiment on ways to encourage people to get the flu shot. They offered it for free. So he got one.

Cost and fear of getting the flu are the 2 major barriers for not getting the flu shot. Protecting yourself and others are my reasons for getting it.

What’s your reason for getting it or not getting it? Comment below!

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