DeWayne's World - Who doesn't have the sense God gave a flea?

DeWayne Bartels

I couldn’t believe it came out of my mouth, but there it was, thrown out there, volunteered without prompting.

“I think I’m going to get a flu shot this year,” I told some co-workers.

How far away can the frenzy about flu shots be? Not too far, I guess, despite the fact I am not yet even wearing socks. (That’s right, I don’t wear socks in the spring, summer and fall. It enhances the natural male ruggedness I exude and makes me look even more like Don Johnson in Miami Vice.)

Anyway, I can’t be the only person thinking about getting a flu shot this year for the first time in their life.

Swine Flu kind of scares me.

This just goes to show my wife is wrong when she constantly tells me I don’t have the common sense God gave a flea.

What does she know?

I’m the one who is a graduate of the U of I Mini Medical School with a degree in Political Proctology.  That means I help politicians pull their head out of their .... Oh, I’m getting off track.  

The problem is I’m sure when I go to get my shot they will run out of the vaccine two people ahead of me in line.

So, I guess I need to become complacent about Swine Flu.

“Wrong, worry breath,” is what Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control, would have said to me had I gotten her on the phone. But, I didn’t call her. Who knows what she would have transmitted to me over the phone?

“Complacency is a major concern. I think that we’re taking this virus very seriously. Seasonal influenza is also serious but this virus is a new one on top of that and we’re making special efforts to be ready,” Schuchat said on the CDC Web site.

Schuchat says it’s very important for the public to think ahead and make sure they have steps ready to go, should a family member become ill, or their workplace or school come under unusual circumstances like closure or telecommuting recommendations.

So, the message, I guess, is “Be afraid, be very afraid.” I’m right back where I started.

I get regular e-mail updates from the CDC which just feeds my concern. And, on Aug. 21 the Illinois Department of Public Health issued a directive on Swine Flu.

IDPH Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold and Illinois State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch issued guidance to schools to address Swine Flu in schools statewide.

“As the school year begins for children across Illinois, we want to reassure students, parents, teachers and staff that the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education are working together to protect the health of students and staff,” said Arnold.

“We anticipate more illness from the H1N1 flu this fall compared to this past spring and more school-based outbreaks because influenza is typically transmitted more easily in fall and winter when children congregate indoors. By issuing guidance and planning now, schools can help ensure they’re prepared for any future flu activity.”

Uh-huh. I’m supposed to trust those two? 

Before I invest any trust in their advice, I want to know if they were appointed by former Gov. “Lightning” Rod Blagojevich.

Swine Flu recommendations are falling down around me like tears on the first day of kindergarten.

The fears this is generating were right there with me as I attended the 1,000 Remarkable Guys event the first day of school at District 150.

I sat in my son’s seventh grade home room class looking at the other students wondering which one was the festering Swine Flu cootie factory that was going to crack open, like that guy in “Alien” when the little monster came out, and spew Swine Flu germs all over me. 

My totally rational line of thought was interrupted by morning announcements. Tucked neatly into them were directives from the IDPH about Swine Flu.

I had to fight the urge to run out of the room.

I left shortly after with a desire to prepare for Swine Flu.

It’s the rational thing to do.

First off, I’m not slowing down in school zones.

Forget it.

The kids may dawdle at school, but I’ll bet the cooties they’re packed to the gills with are not. 

And, I need to get a shot. But, first, I have to get to the sporting goods store.

I’m getting some padding and a football helmet for my wait in line to get a flu shot.

Some people are going down in front of me. Common sense, rational thinking and a strong sense of self-preservation dictates these measures.

I hope to see you in line, just not in front of me.