When I taught middle school, I used to get a flu shot every year. (Ever since my doctor told me I was “working in a germ factory.”) But before that time and since then I haven’t gotten the vaccine because I am not in a high risk group. I’m in good health, and have minimal contact with small children or old folks — or large groups in general. But I find the current coverage on this story very confusing — there seems to be a theme of the moment that says:
“Be very afraid!!! Some people are not getting the swine flu vaccine!!!!”
(And by the way, I thought it was called “H1N1”, not “swine flu”?)
Personally, I have a healthy respect and skepticism of western medicine in general. I mean, I know what it has meant to eradicate smallpox through vaccine; it transformed the world. But I also lived through “Swine Flu Debacle of the 1970’s,” and am just furious with the onslaught of ads I am subjected to every night for the myriad magic pills that will cure every ill known to man. Oh, yeah, except cancer. I guess we can’t focus on erectile dysfunction and cancer, now can we?
So at this point, as someone who is in good health, I am not going to get a “swine flu” vaccine. Of course, I’ve just this week seen my first blue “flu mask” in public, on the commuter train. But I don’t know if he was keeping the flu in or keeping it out….
So tell me: what are you doing?