Patient Zero?

February 23, 2018

I think I'm coming down with the flu. 

I don't know.

I'm not sure.

I woke up this morning, and my chest weighed one million pounds, and I was achy. Perhaps a bit of hyperbole on the chest, but nevertheless, I feel like crap. Which begs the question... should you go to work if you are sick? With this current flu epidemic, it makes sense for you to keep your germ-ridden ass at home and not put your fellow coworkers at risk for developing this nightmare of a sickness. But... the expectation probably exists where you are expected to be at work, regardless.

It's kind of a Catch-22, right? You go to work, suspecting that you are sick, and then people throw their forearms in front of their faces and yell, "what are you doing here? Go home! I don't want you to get me sick!" Valid concern. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuut... if you call in sick... everyone bitches about that too, right? (Usually the same people that initiate the germ freakout.) "I can't believe Linda from HR didn't come in today. Oh, she's sick? Suck it up. The rest of us are here."

You're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't. Naturally, this hits me before the weekend, so I can't even enjoy a couple of well-earned sick days. (RV, I kid, I kid.)

I was on the Google machine (as LB calls it) this morning looking for flu info, and wanted to share some flu-related myths I found:

Myth #1.  "The flu isn't a serious illness." 

Last year, 34 million Americans got the flu, 710,000 were hospitalized, and about 56,000 died.  To put that in perspective, the flu kills more people in the U.S. each year than the Ebola virus has killed in the history of the world. 

Myth #2.  "A healthy lifestyle will protect you against the flu." 

It won't hurt, but it might not be as big of a help as you'd think.  Washing your hands and eating right are important, but you cannot completely stop an airborne virus with a healthy lifestyle alone.

Myth #3.  "If you get sick, you can just take medicine." 

Since the flu is a viral infection, antibiotics aren't effective against it.  The antiviral drug Tamiflu IS an option, but it's not effective for everyone and isn't a cure.

Myth #4.  "Flu shots can give you the flu. "

It doesn't matter if it happened to your best friend's cousin's dog groomer.  It's NOT possible to catch the flu from the flu shot. 

It IS true that some people feel sick shortly after getting the vaccine, but it's either because they're having a bad reaction to the shot . . . or they had already caught the virus and weren't showing symptoms when they got vaccinated.

Myth #5.  "It's too late in the flu season to get vaccinated."

It's true that flu season loses steam in February and it can take up to two weeks for the immunity to kick in, but it's never too late to get your shots.