Before you get started, yes, I had my flu shot. In October.
The four-times stronger version for older adults.
And had enough of a sore arm to be sure it challenged my immune system.
This should be a safe place
There are about 350 of us, most in Independent Living apartments in the main building; fewer than a third in Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing, and Memory Support (downstairs, in the same building).
Most of the 200 staff or so have had the flu shot for a while – if they don’t get it, they have to wear the inconvenient ‘mask of shame’ until they do get it. Visitors like the Fed Ex man wear a mask the entire time they are here if they don’t have the shot.
Because a lot of the people here also came from UC Davis and Davis originally, there are a fair number of guests, though, and I’ve never seen a mask on a guest. OTOH, those are the people who are interested in keeping mom and dad or grandma around.
But we’re not locked in here, not in any way.
There is an ‘out there’
Healthy people can be carriers, even with washing our hands more than we used to.
We go to St. James on Sundays.
Husband rides the bike to the grocery store.
People here go to doctors’ offices.
And somewhere in that mass of people we’re all connected to, someone gave me the flu.
Because I didn’t create this.
I can’t remember
anyone in particular coughing and sneezing a lot, but there was the old lady in church, and the altar boy I didn’t shake hands with for the Kiss of Peace – even though he had a sniffling/sneezing even right before putting his cute little hand out.
And I’ve heard sneezes in the dining venues.
It’s inevitable. And random.
And very hard to avoid coming in contact with someone who is about to come down with the flu tomorrow.
This is practice for the coronavirus pandemic – and also shows how hard it is to prevent contagion.
‘They’ say the flu shot makes you more likely to have a milder flu.
I think that’s true in my case – I’ve had two days of misery, fever, headaches – the works. But I’m definitely not as sick as I could get.
There is also, because your flu is shorter, a smaller window to pass the flu on – which reduces the spread.
So I’m glad I got the shot. And worried about what is going to happen next in the world.
Do what you can to reduce your chances of getting and passing on the flu – you can still get the shot (and unless you have a documented medical reason not to) this year, and in the future.
Immunocompromised people like me, new babies and youngsters, people too old to tolerate the shot, people who have other illnesses – we would all rather not get sick.