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January 07, 2014

Rose Simpson: Go get the flu shot and wash your damned hands!

Rose Simpson's column appears every Tuesday morning on the OttawaStart Blog. She also blogs at Rose's Cantina.

I have just returned from the Rexall Drugstore where I waited ten minutes to get the flu shot.
I didn't feel it, not even a prick.
Gosh, I thought, the pharmacist is a lot better than the nurses at my doctor's office, which is next door and had a line up of about fifty people who presumably were there because they have the flu.
I didn't see one person who was sick at the pharmacy.
The line up at the Pharmaplus was exactly no one except a worried gentleman who never had the flu shot before, a man who grilled me about how many times I've had it, whether I had side effects.
I thought, man up, dude, it's just a flu shot.

I get the flu shot ever year and this is why.
I got a job at the Bruyere Hospital after SARS hit Ontario. I worked for one week, then felt sick and my boss told me not to tell anybody. I ended up so sick I had to quit my job. My health crisis lasted six months, during which time I nearly coughed up both my lungs.
I believe I'm lucky to be alive.
I also get the flu shot because one of my dear friends, Gord Grant, died from the H1N1 which was a true tragedy given the fact that Gord was a robust lad in good health. I think of the old coot ever time there is a flu scare, and tell everyone I know --especially when I'm waiting to get the shot -- that Gord died from it.
I also get the flu shot because I have a granddaughter and I want to see her grow up.
And I get the flu shot because I go to the gym four times a week, the place the flu and other maladies vacation. And because I go to the grocery store where the flu virus likes to accompany shoppers through the aisles looking for meat specials.
In my humble opinion, it's just stupid NOT to get the flu shot.
It doesn't cost anything.
If you and your kin get the flu shot, there are fewer places for the flu to land.
You might also save a life, like your elderly neighbor or the baby your sister just brought home from the hospital.
I don't understand why only ten percent of the population gets the flu shot when it's simple, it doesn't hurt and it's free. And I certainly don't understand why only half of health workers get it.
Maybe more people would get the flu shot if they got Air Miles.

Come on. Get to the pharmacy.
Get your flu shot.
P.S. Wash your damned hands, especially if you go to my gym.

-- Rose Simpson
See also: Ottawa Health Guide
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