Oh, hi. Just your friendly neighborhood columnist here reminding you to get a flu shot. Seriously, get a flu shot. Go. Now. Stop reading, and get a flu shot.
“But, Liz,” you think to yourself, “I’m very healthy. I drink warm lemon water and take my personalized vitamin supplements on the way to hatha yoga. I meditate, I run 10 miles uphill every day and I’m a sugar-free, gluten-free vegan. I am strong like a bull, and no silly little virus like the flu is going to stop me.” And to that I say: I was once like you, too.
In fact, when that silly little flu virus rocked my world, I was a super-healthy, super-fit 25-year-old. Before that fateful day, when I felt like I had been hit by a Mack truck, I hadn’t had so much as a cold in years. I was in prime health. I remember waking up that morning and feeling “not good.” I didn’t feel sick, just a little off. I took my first ever sick day, telling my co-worker, “I don’t know why, but I feel like I probably need to go home.” It was ominous as hell.
I remember driving home. I remember laying down in bed. And I remember almost nothing for nearly three days after that.
I know that I had every blanket in the house on my bed, and still I shook with chills from a high fever. I know that I left my bed to get something to drink, and I was so weak, I was afraid I would have to literally crawl back on my hands and knees. To this day, I believe I had a long conversation with my sister and our roommate, which I have been told never happened.
I hallucinated, my skin hurt and I was scared. I couldn’t cry because I was dehydrated. I couldn’t ask for help because I didn’t know what was real. I have never been so sick, and I will never forget how it felt.
People die from the flu. Healthy people. My friends who don’t get vaccinated are not morally opposed to inoculation. They happily vaccinate against diphtheria, tetanus and measles; if they travel abroad, they throw some yellow fever on board. But when it comes to the flu, they shrug their shoulders. How bad can it be?
It’s bad. Or at least it can be bad. You don’t know if you might get a little sick or be fucking flattened by it, like I was. So just get the shot. It’s convenient, cheap (sometimes free) and it only hurts a little. And if you still think that the flu is no match for your outstanding immune system, remember: It’s not all about you. You live here with the rest of us. Think of the babies, the elderly, the folks with compromised immune systems. You’re part of a herd, and you can protect those who can’t protect themselves.
Just get the damn shot already.
Read more Marsh: coloradodaily.com/columnists