OPINION | Save us all—get a shot

The time of year has arrived where every authority in our lives reminds us to get our flu shots.

Students should take this seriously.

Yes, this sounds like the fretting of a parent.

But there’s a lot to consider.

Average college students engage in all sorts of behavior that weaken their immune systems.

Sharing close living spaces, eating in communal spaces, not sleeping enough, drinking, stressing and generally living life to the fullest—all of these activities make us more susceptible to disease.

So it might help to engage in less of these actions.

I have an alternative to that however.

The flu shot is free under Butler University’s insurance plan.

The virus is already active in almost every area of the United States, and winter is far from over.

Students should of course be careful and act responsibly.

Getting the flu shot early  means illnesses can be a little less severe as the season wears on.

National Public Radio reported last week that the United States is facing a variety of viruses this winter, including influenza.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers reports that flu outbreaks are widespread in 48 states.

Doctors noted that the flu is uniquely adept at surviving on hard surfaces outside of the body—such as keyboards and doorknobs.

A certain level of exposure, then, is probably unavoidable.

Among other symptoms, the flu often induces intense fever, aches and pains and a dry cough.

As someone who has worked in healthcare and pharmacy environments for years, I do not see vaccines as personal.

This is a communal problem.

Do not simply tell yourself you feel fine, or that you are too young or too tough to get sick.

Your roommate may not be that lucky.

Many places offer the shot at no charge.

So do something this winter that benefits the entire community.

Get the flu vaccine and please see a doctor if you suspect you have the flu.

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