Along with the many office-related items on my desk are cold medicine, a box of tissues, and a pot of hot tea. Yeah, I’ve got it: the dreaded first cold of the season. It seems so many people around me have already had a cold or are dealing with, let’s say, “intestinal issues”. ‘Tis the season.
Having this cold has been such a pain. I’m trying to train myself to become a mouth-open sleeper who doesn’t mind a desert-level dry mouth. Attempting to eat while breathing is my new Olympic-level activity, but I’m certainly happy I don’t have the flu — again.
Last year tests confirmed what I guessed: I had influenza. My bones ached like they were decomposing yet ever so slowly expanding at the same time. My joints felt like they had shards of glass grinding deep into the cartilage despite barely moving at all. Breathing was strained. Just existing was exhausting.
According to the CDC, “during the 2017-2018 season, the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza was at or above the epidemic threshold for 16 consecutive weeks.” In fact, already in this season people have died in influenza-related cases in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Florida.
We all know the flu kills, but some of us gamble with getting the shot.
In our 20+ years of experience staffing clinical and anatomic laboratories, we have found that most facilities require their employees and contractors to get a flu shot in the fall and winter months. Very few permit them to decline the immunization, and even fewer allow them to wear masks while working.
If you already had a flu shot this season, simply send us a copy and you’ll have one less thing to do. I know I’m happier with one less task, especially with this cold wearing me down.
Excuse me while I get another box of tissues…