Who needs a flu shot when you can have mock-hypochondriac advice?


So apparently there is a flu epidemic. We have been hearing all of this alarming news since late December, which led Google to create a terrifying map showing the flu outbreak by state, with red meaning “high” or “intense” levels of flu. The whole map is basically red.

For someone whose recent search history always includes something along the lines of “Do I have a tumor if my eyes are twitching?,” this is a terrifying time. 

I wouldn’t call myself a hypochondriac because I am also afraid of the doctor and choose not to go on a regular basis. Instead, I am stuck in this limbo of thinking I have a new illness on a regular basis, but too afraid of all those cheery nurses and the ever-accurate scale to find out what’s actually wrong with me. 

I have instead turned to home remedies. And by that I mean I take a lot of vitamin C and carry around hand sanitizer. I will also eat or drink almost anything if there is even a 1 percent chance it might stave off diseases. For example, I am now drinking pomegranate juice to prevent my inevitable Alzheimer’s because a friend said she “read it in Reader’s Digest or something.” Good enough for me.

So this flu season, when I should just suck it up, get a flu shot and move on with my life, I will instead live in constant fear. I am just begging for the virus anyway. I don’t sleep, I spend most of my time in a dark, dank basement working for this paper and I touch my face too much, which, I know, is like the worst thing any human being can possibly do. 

My best advice as a journalism major and nothing even close to a medical professional is to stay hydrated since that is the solution for everything. A McKinney family legend says that you can take a shot of whiskey and honey before bed to cure any ailments. At one point during the holiday break I poured a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and six tablespoons of ginger into a bath to “sweat out toxins” at the advice of some beauty blog based out of Minneapolis.

But really you should just get a flu shot. Diane Sawyer reported for ABC News that some 70 million people think the flu shot will give them the flu. Richard Besser, chief medical expert for ABC News, went on to explain that is actually not true and that the flu shot has a 62 percent chance of protecting you from the virus. 

However, if you are anything like me, racked with fear of the flu and of anyone with any medical credentials, you will not want to wait in line with 20 sick old people while the pharmacy runs out of flu shots. You should probably just follow my advice. 

Printed on Thursday, January 17, 2013 as: Doctor phobic urges flu vaccination