This isn’t a thought about literal Kool-Aid, just to clear the industrial air…
Also, you will be offended by this post, if you get offended by anti-establishment, post-scientific, skeptical inquiries. I’m not saying you shouldn’t read it (and comment!)…just getting my disclaimers out of the way.
The new flu shot is available.
I’m not getting it.
I would say, “Neither should you,” but I hate when people assume prescriptive tones over my personal decisions, so I’ll abstain from such language and simply inquire whether we’ve thought (and read) thoroughly about such a large step.
Well, the reality is that most of God’s image-bearers don’t really think that the welcoming of that tiny hollow spear into their shoulder and the subsequent hospitality offered to the accompanying chemicals are large steps at all. It’s just a flu shot. We get them…well, why do we get them?
I think we get them for these reasons:
1) We don’t want the inconvenience of the flu
2) We are afraid (because we’ve read the [narrow, unexplained] statistics) that we, or someone we love might die of the flu.
3) The CDC recommends it
4) It’s more or less the path of least resistance, culturally speaking
5) It’s pretty cheap, and you can get it at Walgreens. Sometimes Walgreens stores have a RedBox, too, so you can get a vaccine and a movie for pennies!
I don’t expect to convince anyone to change their actions concerning the flu shot. But I would like to decry some of the incredible occurrences surrounding this cultural phenomenon of (what I think is largely) convenience-mongering.
Why does Walgreens (and other places, but I feel like it’s most visibly Walgreens) advertise their flu shot on their marquee board? Maybe just so you know, maybe they are offering a service to the public – maybe Walgreens is transitioning into a non-profit tax category. But they also advertise cheap sodas and toilet paper on those marquee boards. And those aren’t services to the public – they’re products! So I would like to allege that the flu shot is simply another product, rubber-stamped by the government, being hungrily hawked by whoever can get a business license. Maybe Jiffy Lube should offer flu shots while you wait for your oil to get changed.
Speaking of government, I don’t know anyone at the CDC, and they don’t know me. They’re part of a larger system that has shown itself to rarely reflect the will of the people, and to almost always pander to industries looking to make a buck (or a few billion bucks).
Oh, and to be fair, I guess I’ll state what this year’s shot includes – it’s apparently a triple-vaccine, containing prevention for the un-swine-flu (H1N1) – the media and government have more or less admitted that they’re gearing up to freak out about that again this year – as well as two other strains of the flu virus. Says Dr. Thomas R. Frieden of the CDC, “This year we think that the three strains of influenza in the flu vaccine are going to be excellent matches with the flu that’s circulating.” (from this AP article) That sounds almost like wishful thinking!
And the media is totally enamored with the flu shot. Click here, and here, and here. But read cautiously, lest you too be caught in the APs and NPRs strange addictions to slanted reporting, emotional appeals, crimes against reason, and general irrelevance.
I could go on, but I won’t. Well, not much more. I have two final comments.
One – Bring on the flu! (And bring on chickenpox, too!) Influenza is essentially harmless to almost everyone, particularly those who choose to lead a healthy lifestyle. It’s also a fantastic (and free) detox for your body – your digestive tract is essentially emptied, and you often sweat like you had paid to go to a sauna. When it’s over, you’re better off, with a new set of antibodies and a renewed body. Screw all this fear-mongering (a dirty marketing technique, if you ask me) about illness and death. Which leads me to my final thought…
Two – Why, as Christians, are we so afraid all the time? Particularly we’re afraid of illness and death, and that doesn’t make any sense to me. I won’t enter the slippery slope of inquiring about medical intervention and how much we ought to do in order to save a person’s life, I’ll just leave it at the wondering. Why are we so afraid of inconvenience? Why are we so afraid of pain (physical and otherwise)? Why are we so afraid of death?
…For this perishable body must put on the imperishable…