Each year the internet goes wild with flu shot information. Why we should get it, where we can get it, why we need to care about our community and friends, etc. It’s a seasonal vaccination debate.
And each year, an internal struggle in my mind and my household takes place. My husband has no choice. Thank you, Army, he gets it automatically and without a second thought.
But I have a choice, and I get to make the choice for our kids. So why is this a hard decision?
It’s a pain
It really is. Once my second (and then youngest) turned two, there was no more “make an appointment for flu shot” option. This means I have to wait for the flu shot clinic to be announced, and then rescheduled because they didn’t arrive in time, only to find out the timing just doesn’t work. Then we have to use the walk-in immunization clinic. I’m sorry, walk-in? With two school-aged kids and a newborn, competing with everyone else who has school-aged kids? To get shots? Um, no thank you.
I am not a trendy person
I know that the flu shot is good for me. And good for you. But I hate – really hate – being told I have to do something. I mean, remember when everyone was reading “Harry Potter” and watching “Finding Nemo” and you just had to? Not me. No way. I still haven’t done those things. I hate being treated like a lemming. Must. Get. Flu. Shot. No, I really don’t have to. Dear Walgreens, your “get a shot, give a shot” is not going to guilt me into this. Nope, not at all.
Being sick isn’t horrible, for me
I mean, it’s the flu. It’s annoying, it’s uncomfortable, and it’s trying. It’s far worse if my husband or kids got sick, because then I have to play nursemaid. But if I’m sick, it’s not much different from any other day. And it gives me a really good excuse to re-watch “Gilmore Girls” in my pajamas and read lots of books. (You can remind me of this if I get sick and whine about it, I’ll handle it well.)
It could kill someone
It really could. I have several friends who are immunosuppressed. I am ultra-cautious about that. If we are sick, or we’re around someone who was sick, we avoid those people. That’s not any fun, so this tops my list for getting shots. But it’s still not quite enough to outweigh the above reasons. Because even if we got the flu shot, we could still get the flu, or get some other delightful cold season variant and have to avoid those friends anyway.
Better safe than sorry
I mean really, is the 30- to 60-minute inconvenience and three crying kids more inviting than taking non-shot measures to stay healthy this flu season? It depends on the day, and the variant of flu that may decide to descend on us. While it really should be a no-brainer, it still sparks debate in me.
So while I doubt any of these reasons will change any minds, I just want y’all to know: Your crazy, high-strung, borderline-rabid social media posts demanding that I get or don’t get the flu shot aren’t going to change my mind either.
I now know there are steps I can take to change how I think, to find the true me again. That is why I am going to take better care of myself this year. In fact, that’s the only resolution I care to make. For both my own health, and as an important example to my kids, this year, I'm resolving to practice a kindness that starts from within.