Well, the apocalyptic rapture never came to fruition, and it is time to once again break in a new calendar.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this current juncture on our calendar is the earliest start to influenza season in a decade.
This year’s flu variant is particularly virulent, and officials warn that many Americans unlucky enough to succumb to the virus will be sicker than in years past.
The CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other officialdoms pertaining to the health, safety and wellbeing of the populace urge every man, woman and child to seek inoculation — especially those high-risk groups such as elderly individuals and juveniles.
While nearly one-third of all Americans choose to be vaccinated and receive a flu shot each year, I am one of the rebels that your doctor, nurse or other qualified medical practitioner warned you about; I refuse to purposefully introduce influenza into my system.
Now, I understand the idea of immunization and have been poked, jabbed, prodded, stabbed, etc., for countless ailments, but never the flu.
Chances are good that we all will encounter the influenza virus in some capacity before the season officially ends in April.
But, regardless of whether or not one receives a flu shot, the formula that is injected into your arm is for last year’s strain and offers no guarantee that you will remain healthy.
Interestingly, only about half of all healthcare workers — a ranking on the likelihood of people in various professions contracting the virus placed custodial professionals second only to healthcare workers — choose to be vaccinated.
Instead of taking the chance of the vaccination going rogue, I simply eat well, ingest the necessary vitamin and mineral supplements and practice proper hand hygiene.
Calling The Bluff
Well, as luck would have it — some call this sick and twisted turn of fate karma — I fell ill with influenza after gallivanting around town visiting friends and family this holiday season.
This isn’t the first time it has happened; I’ve had the flu several times before.
I was bedridden for three days while, on behalf of my immune system, my white blood cells went “Van Damme” on the virus.
A couple sleepless nights with cold sweats and shivers — and not to mention several doses of Tamiflu — later, and I was back to my lively, healthy self.
The morale of the story: If you’re going to take a chance with your personal health, you better be prepared to deal with whatever consequences come your way.
Auspiciously, America’s sick season only requires us to fight influenza and its little cousin, the common cold.
And, even though influenza and rhinovirus can both be deadly in some instances, we are fortunate that we don’t have, for example, a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) season that runs like clockwork from October to April every year.