That nature is a cruel mistress, we know all to well. That nature does not care how good a person you are we also know. But nature can be stopped by nurture — in this case GETTING YOUR GOD-DAMN FLU SHOT!!!!!I
It does not hurt one bit, believe me. Why take a chance on becoming a statistic when, with five minutes of prevention, you can immeasurably increase your chances?
Don’t. Your life may depend on it,
By Bob Quarteroni
“World War I claimed an estimated 16 million lives. The influenza epidemic that swept the world in 1918 killed an estimated 50 million people. One fifth of the world’s population was attacked by this deadly virus. Within months, it had killed more people than any other illness in recorded history.” The National Archives
“The seasonal flu vaccine prevented more than 40,000 flu-associated deaths in the United States during a nine-year period from 2005-2006 through 2013-2014 according to estimates in a new study published in the journal Vaccine.” Centers for Disease Control
“Wow. I have studied the influenza vaccine for years and I know that there is not one study that has shown the flu vaccine very effective for preventing the flu….Flu season is approaching. Should you get a flu vaccine that fails the vast majority–98 percent –of the time? Fuggetaboutit!” Health Impact News
What is it in the human psyche that seems sooooo ready to deny facts and seek some dark conspiracy in its place?
Whether it’s the Kennedy assassination, the moon landing, UFOs, Bigfoot or Donald Trump’s sanity (sorry, couldn’t resist) people seem like iron filings drawn to a powerful magnet when presented with any weird, convoluted, easily debunked theory.
And that’s the case here.
Vaccines have saved, literally, millions upon millions of lives. They are medical science at its best and have transformed the world in ways that would seem magical if they weren’t real.
I’m old enough to remember – just – when kids were being put in “iron lungs” to breath for them when polio still ravaged the planet.
Then in 1955, the Salk vaccine was introduced. The reaction then, however, wasn’t one of doubt and skepticism: it was one of jubilation in the realization of a long-sought solution to a devastating disease.
“People were hugging in the streets, kids were let out of school, Salk was invited to the White House where Eisenhower broke down in tears thanking him – it was really this shining moment of great faith in science and in medical research,” said David Oshinsky, Pulitzer-prize winning author of Polio: An American Story, as quoted in Forbes magazine.
And why wouldn’t they be ecstatic? The vaccine was a miracle in a syringe: Just six years later, the rate of polio had dropped 96 percent.
The vaccines (later Sabin and then others) have been so successful that polio cases have decreased by over 99 percent worldwide since 1988, from an estimated more than 350 000 cases then to 37 reported cases in 2016.
And the same can be said for vaccination campaigns against a host of other killers.
Measles, rabies, whooping cough, chickenpox and many others have gone from worldwide scourges to mere vestiges of the holocausts they were, thanks to a simple jab in the arm.
The most successful vaccination program of all time eliminated smallpox from existence, except for a few canisters in some heavily guarded labs. It was eradicated by a collaborative global vaccination program led by the World Health Organization. The last known natural case was in Somalia in 1977.
With this litany of successes, why are people so insistent on denying the efficacy of vaccines?
The usual suspects trotted out by the vaccine deniers include their belief that the vaccine causes the flu, that it leads to autism, that it is tainted with mercury, or preservatives, that it’s a money making-scheme by Big Pharma, that it causes miscarriages and other allegations that disappear in the clear light of day – and actual evidence.
This denial of scientific fact isn’t confined to vaccines, unfortunately. As Stephanie Pappas points out on Livesicence.com, “The U.S. has a science problem. Around half of the country’s citizens reject the facts of evolution; fewer than a third agree there is a scientific consensus on human-caused climate change, and the number who accept the importance of vaccines is ticking downward.”
It’s ticked downward to where only 42 percent of Americans get the flu vaccine. It’s their right to not get the flu vaccine and to believe whatever they want to believe about its merits or demerits.
But they are gambling with their lives. If a flu pandemic similar to 1918 were to strike, its victims would suffer as this account form Popular Mechanics outlines, which is eerily reminiscent to how Richard Preston describes how Ebola virus ravages victims in “The Hot Zone.”
“Deep brown spots would appear on a victim’s cheeks and a thick, bloody fluid would begin to overwhelm his lungs. Starting at the ears, their faces would gradually turn blue as circulating blood could not get oxygenated. Soon, victims would start to drown in their own fluid — often coughing up a pinkish froth as they fought to inhale.”
And, sadly, 1918 might not just repeat itself, it might be much, much worse. Bill Gates said that the 1918 outbreak was the worst pandemic in modern history “Today, with how interconnected the world is, it would spread faster,” he said.
Is it worth the risk? I don’t think so, which is why when I went to get vaccinated at Wegman’s last week, I took the high dose option. Better safe than sorry, methinks.