By Emily Branson / Photo Editor

The one thing that I do not feel like I need to be saying this year is exactly what I’m about to say. Please, do us all a favor and get your dang flu shot this year.

Seriously, there is no valid argument that could prevent you going to your local pharmacy, health clinic, or even the Little Clinic at Dillons Marketplace and just getting the shot. It’s simple, fast and really not that big of a hassle.

This year, everyone has been through more trials and turmoil than any of us could have ever expected, there’s no doubt about that. But the last thing that anyone needs is another lockdown, another stay-at-home order, or another mask mandate because the hospitals can’t keep up. Last year there were almost 500,000 hospitalizations due to the flu, and with the current uptick in coronavirus cases, there is simply no way that we can send every single person to the hospital. There are not enough beds and not enough staff.

I have worked in healthcare for about a year now, and I can genuinely say that everyone in the industry dreads flu season. It’s chaotic 24/7, and we can never predict what is coming next. There are more illnesses throughout communities and throughout staff in any healthcare facility. When there are less staff, those working around the clock to keep everyone else healthy are overworked and exhausted.

This year has been traumatizing for anyone working in or around healthcare. There have been thousands of deaths, many of which were people we knew, cared for and loved. The healthcare world has been struggling just to keep everyone alive for the last eight months, the very least we could do is save them the extra stress of a flu case or two.

There have been people who have argued that getting the flu shot makes them sick or isn’t 100% effective, but the fact of the matter is, this year we simply can’t risk it. Not this year. Many people first thought that COVID-19 was just like the flu, but not we know that it is much more dangerous and unpredictable. We can’t risk having an increase in both flu cases and COVID-19 cases at the same time. It could cost countless people their lives, which I think we’ve seen enough of this year.

Please, save us all more turmoil and just go get your flu shot.

Emily Branson is a Halstead Sophomore studying journalism. She is a photo editor for the Collegian.

She previously wrote about the flu vaccine for the Collegian. Read it here.

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