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Tonight I am pleased to post Kid Amnesiac’s first ever public service announcement:

Get a flu shot.

Too busy? Get it anyway. Not sure how effective it is? Get it anyway. Don’t like needles. Get it anyway. Really, the only reason you should NOT be getting a flu shot is if you are too ill to get one.

Then there’s me and Matt. We won’t be getting flu shots this winter, either. We earned our anti-flu antibodies the hard way: BY GETTING THE FLU.

My pre-Christmas fever? Flu. How do I know? Because the day after Christmas Matt fell ill. Unlike me, he made it to the doctor within 48 hours where he was tested for the flu, game up positive, and also unlike me was put on Tamiflu to help reduce the severity and duration of symptoms. By the time I made it to the doctor, it was too late for testing or medical treatment.

As it happens, my envy was short-lived, because I was (barely) vertical by day 3 of my flu without any pharmaceutical assistance, whereas it took Matt a full five to beat his down with. So either I have the immune system of an oxe, or Tamiflu is kind of useless, or both. I’m thinking both.

Then there’s Simon. He had just been scheduled for his flu mist when we both fell ill. It was a miracle we didn’t infect him the first four days we were sick or contagious, but we didn’t. And once we knew what we were dealing with, we did the only sane thing imaginable: we shipped him off to his grandparents’ house. Simon spent two days with Jim & Evie, two days with my mom, and four nights at my mom’s too. He displaced her from her own bed, at her cupboard bare, and nearly drove her mad with repeat viewings of Word Girl.

In the midst of all this sickness, my dad turned 75. We had a nice family dinner planned to celebrate, too, but it had to be canceled. We had the flu, my brother Perry had a cold, my dad had a cold, and my step-mom had a kidney infection. Only my brother Steve was unaffected by winter illness; a fact made all the more plain when he laughed and called us dumb-asses for not getting flu shots. (He’s right, but still…)

Even Simon’s play-dates have taken a hit. He was supposed to have a school friend over tomorrow to spend the day and then sleep-over, but the poor fellow fell ill earlier today with a repeat of strep.

We’ve got 7 more days of winter break to go, and I’m hoping that they will be filled by something other than trips to the doctor, trips to the pharmacy, and time spent hosing down our house with Lysol.

But enough about us. Now you go get your flu shot.


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