Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Should Shut-Ins Get Flu Shots?

Last year at this time, Stella was working in a Real Office that was in a medical setting, and you better believe she hustled herself over to the nursing students to get a flu shot. Everytime I go to a medical facility (doctors offices, hospitals, the pharmacy) I feel like it's vaguely filthy and I wash my hands a little bit more obsessively than usual.

But now that I'm back to being a full time shut in, I shouldn't need a flu shot, right? Not so fast. This article from Web Worker Daily posits that working from a remote location may make you less prone to catching things, but I'm not so sure. While it's true that you're not exposed to all your colleagues coughing up a lung on your keyboard because they don't want to use up a precious sick day, you still have to encounter your friends and neighbors.

And sadly, some of them may be sick when you see them.

Your children bring home crud from school or daycare, or your spouse who works at a used bookstore gets sneezed on by one of his erstwhile colleagues or customers, or the UPS man vomits on the package before he hands it to you, and before you know it, you've been exposed to viral mayhem. And then you're sick. So working at home can't prevent every illness, unfortunately.

I will say this: telecommuting may make you less likely to take a sick day when you're feeling iffy because the barrier for going to work is set so low. Even if you really feel crappy, you will probably end up shuffling down the hall to read some email just to take a break from watching various Judges adjudicate mind-numbingly dumb cases on daytime television.

But prevention is the best medicine, so get a flu shot, people. For the love of pete, you don't want to get sick.


Anonymous said...

It never occurred to me not to get a flu shot. Even though I'm not sitting in an office surrounded by people who insist on coming to work sick, I still have contact with friends, relatives and still go shopping, out to dinner, to movies. If anything, I need it more now since I'm not being exposed to as many sick people and my immune system thinks it can take a vacation!

Stella Commute said...

Thanks for commenting, Anon. They push flu shots so effectively any more, it does seem dumb to not get one. Plus they are everywhere -- at the grocery store, at the bank, at school, at work, and even at my doctor's office. Go figure.

Here's to a healthy flu season. Stay well!