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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Fleeing the Flu....

Fleeing the Flu

Are you as tired of hearing about flu shots as I am? All right already, enough is enough. For some reason, everyone seems to be in a panic about getting flu shots. We have flu every year, but this year the nuts are going into overdrive about it.

"The most important way to keep from getting flu is to wash your hands after being in public places and before you eat," say the health experts. So, why are we being beaten over the head with helpful hints about staying healthy? It is no different than it's ever been. Habits are hard to change. People are pretty much going to do what they always do, flu or no flu.

Yeah, I know, this year's panic is because of swine flu, or H1N1 if you want to be politically correct. Because of swine flu, suddenly everyone has become aware of how dangerous seasonal flu can be too. Maybe it took being hit over the head with an H1N1 baseball bat to wake people up to the flu risks.

Funny, I don't remember it ever being called seasonal flu until this year. Suddenly pain old regular flu has gone fancy. They don't want us to get the two mixed up and get the ridiculous idea that regular flu shots will protect us from that nasty old H1N1 bug.

Hello, operator ... the message isn't getting through. Because of H1N1, everyone rushed out to get seasonal flu shots this year, people who never, ever had a flu shot before. Clinics are running out of the vaccine in spite of the many official statements saying the seasonal flu shot does not protect anyone from H1N1. We need to get two flu shots, not one.

Unfortunately, there is not enough H1N1 vaccine to meet the demand. People are rushing around and standing in line to get shots. Due to the lack of availability, the government has set priorities on who can have it and who can't -- basically, pregnant women and children first. Kind of scary when the government starts saying who can be protected from an epidemic, isn't it?

People who are old can wait as they supposedly have some immunity due to a previous exposure to a similar strain a long time ago. However, old people are wondering if all this stuff about having immunity is true or whether they are they simply more dispensable than the rest of the population.

I presume there will eventually be sufficient vaccine for all who want it to get it. I got my seasonal flu shot as usual this year, except I had the inconvenience of having to go to the neighborhood drugstore when my employer's supply ran out early due to the rush.

Some people, however, have decided that the shot is more dangerous than the flu. And they think the live vaccine in a nose spray is even more dangerous than the regular H1N1 shot. Lucky for them, if the rest of us get the shot, we are not spreading germs around to infect the protesters who don't.

Personally, I'm a believer in getting vaccinated. If everyone decided they didn't need to be immunized, we would still have horrific preventable diseases like polio -- diseases long ago abolished thanks to wide-spread vaccination programs.

So, all you folks that don't want the H1N1 vaccine get out of my way. I'm not in one of the priority groups, but when it is available for me, I'm darn sure going to get it. Call me brainwashed, a cow following the herd, a lemming, but I still think shots are a good thing. I'll take my chances with the vaccine. Maybe, just maybe, there will be enough people that think like me to get this virus under control.

Now excuse me while I go wash my hands again.

Copyright 2009 Sheila Moss

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