I have a feeling this little experiment will go swimmingly. If you think you know the answer, please refrain from shouting out your guess so that others can continue to play.
- I am not a person, but rather a thing.
- I was invented not too long ago to help prevent a major cause of death and injury.
- Millions of people use me regularly, and most do not give me a second thought.
- Proper use of me only takes a couple of seconds and is not uncomfortable when applied properly.
- I am very safe when used properly, but I can be misused.
- I am exceedingly effective at protecting people's lives.
- Use of me is strongly recommended everywhere around the world and is even mandated in some places.
- Despite the fact that there are many laws around the world regarding mandatory use of me, some people still eschew me and choose not to use me.
- There are very few real reasons not to use me.
- There are several more recently developed items that have been invented and found to make use of me more effective.
- Despite my excellent safety profile, there are rare instances where I can cause major injury or even death.
- Because I can rarely hurt people, some believe I am evil and will always refuse me.
- People who are against me actually think they are safer without me.
What? What do you mean you weren't thinking I was seat belts! Wait wait wait, you weren't thinking I was VACCINES, were you?
Hm . . . well now that I read my description back, it sure does sound like I could be vaccines, doesn't it.
You are correct; that wasn't a question.
This stupid little game was inspired by some stupid little tweets that I've read over the past week or so regarding the flu vaccine, including this humourous little gem:
But that's from noted lunatic and all-around asshole Mike Adams, so I mostly let that go. Not really:All #vaccine research eventually leads to Bill Gates and Nazi #eugenics https://t.co/eISiQARpo7 #antivax— HealthRanger (@HealthRanger) October 12, 2017
Waste of skin. Heh. But the one that really got to me was this one:You are an odious waste of skin, and I rue the fact that I am forced to share oxygen with you.— Doc Bastard (@DocBastard) October 12, 2017
Delete your account. @HealthRanger https://t.co/5myG3qq8lV
I wish I could remember where on Facebook I found that, but in case you can't see the picture it is a nurse bleating about the fact that she is being forced to wear a mask because she refused a flu shot. What this nurse apparently forgot is that nurses are on the front line when it comes to patient protection, and they should be first in line to get their goddamned flu shot. Because this isn't about you and your stupid hurt feelings madam, it's about not transmitting a potentially fatal disease to the most vulnerable people for whom you have chosen to care.This nurse claims she's being "shamed" for refusing a flu shot.— Doc Bastard (@DocBastard) October 14, 2017
If you don't understand protecting patients, get the fuck out of medicine. pic.twitter.com/uJP7Eaa6br
While the vast majority of the 200+ responses to my tweet were supportive, some of them were less than enthusiastic. Ok, that's putting it mildly. I'll change that to "complete bullshit".
Others groused about the nurse's informed consent:
Let me assure you that we all sign informed consent forms prior to receiving the vaccine, and they say the same things it says on the consent forms that the general public signs. And making a nurse wear a mask doesn't violate her privacy, and it doesn't violate informed consent. I have a sneaking suspicion that when she was hired (or when her hospital adopted a mandatory flu shot policy) she signed a form acknowledging that she would either get the shot or wear a mask.Informed consent has been thrown out the window for a shitty 60y.o. vaccine based on shitty science. But if badgering makes you feel good..— Demo Schopenheimer (@schopenheimer) October 14, 2017
Then there were multiple people claiming this:
Not true. The flu vaccine can cause the flu or flu-like symptoms.— Scary Kelly 🦇 (@arcadek3lly) October 15, 2017
NO. No it absolutely can not. If you take nothing else away from this stupid blog post, take away this: it is a 100% biological impossibility to catch the flu from the flu shot. End of. Full stop. PERIOD. Before you rush down to the comments to say "BUT THE FLU MIST IS A LIVE VIRUS VACCINE YOUR STUPID LOL", I didn't say the flu vaccine, I said the flu shot, which is an inactivated (read: dead) virus vaccine. The flu mist is a live attenuated vaccine which has unfortunately not been nearly as successful as anyone had hoped. Regardless, You can't catch the flu from a flu shot, you can't transmit it to others, and it doesn't fucking shed. You may feel crummy for a day or two due to the immune response, but that is NOT the flu, which knocks you on your ass for a week or two and may fucking kill you.
The reason we fucking bother with this shit is because it DOES work sometimes, and that is better than nothing. Even if it is only 10% effective, that is 10% higher than ZERO PERCENT. The flu kills thousands of people every year and happens to target the most vulnerable of our population (children, elderly, sick), so it is NOT just a bad cold. The flu shot is extremely safe, with fleetingly rare reports of serious adverse events at a rate of around 1 per 1.4 million doses. Plus, in some years the effectiveness approaches 60%, which is actually pretty goddamned good. And the flu vaccine has also been found to decrease both the severity and mortality of pneumonia during flu season.
The bottom line is this: influenza is not just a bad cold. The flu sucks. The flu shot works (sometimes). The flu shot is safe. The flu shot is inexpensive. And the flu shot does not give you the flu.
So if you are a child, a healthcare worker, an elderly person, are pregnant, or have a chronic medical condition,