Sometimes those side effects are real

I’m finally old enough to get the vaccine. Woo-hoo! The shingles vaccine, that is.

I’d put it off for a while because I done researched them interwebs myself and found a conservative witch doctor in Nambia who was silenced by social media when he explained that the shingles vaccine Shingrix has only been around since 2017 and is nothing but a money-making hoax that has killed millions, and that shingles can be cured with a mix of Elmer’s glue, Pace chunky salsa and Quaker State that you apply with a badminton racket while lying in a tanning booth (on high/George Hamilton level). But the government — ha, the “government” — doesn’t want you to know.

“What’s that honey? What do you mean I’m taking it whether I like it or not? Who’s the boss around here?! … Oh, yeah. I forgot for a moment. Sorry, dear.”

Last week, the office where my wife works was thoughtful enough to bring in a team of jabbers to administer flu shots — and shingles shots if desired by the over-the-hill crowd. I got both. I was fine for about 10 hours. Then I was sick for about 24 hours — shivering, headache, fever, body aches, fatigue, speaking in Latin (a language I don’t even know), et cetera. I mean, I could go on ad infinitum. Fortunately, after an awful lot of rest and sleep, I was ready to carpe diem once again!

From what I hear, though, a day of flu-like symptoms is way better than having shingles. Folks who’ve had shingles say it’s pretty darn painful and not a pretty sight. Those of you who’ve seen me lately know I cannot afford to get any less pretty.

The shingles vaccine is necessary because I had chicken pox as a child. One of the few things I remember about second grade was having the chicken pox and everyone telling me not to scratch. The other things I remember about second grade was a teacher who made us stand on one leg in a trash can as punishment and another teacher who would twist my ear to help me “concentrate” on math problems. I also kinda remember a teacher who kept screaming in the lunchroom, “How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?!,” a Mr. Floyd, I believe.

Oh, I do remember one more thing about second grade. We used to run around the playground playing “Logan’s Run.” That was the sci-fi movie and brief series in which future folks thought they got “renewed” in some weird light that sucked them up, but they really were just exterminating all the folks who reached the age of 30 to save resources. I doubt we truly understood the concept back then, but, then again, 30 seemed pretty darn old to us, so the concept might have made good sense to us.

Hmm, maybe the shingles vaccine is part of some Logan’s Run-lite — a way to start getting rid of folks when they hit the age of 50. After all, the vaccine used to be given only to those 60 and older. Next, I guess they’ll start reducing the age to 45 and 40 … much the way Bernie Sanders and his friends want to do with Medicare eligibility, which I’m all for.

Before I got the shot, the nurse said some something about side effects — blah, blah, blah. This is one of the problems with having prescription medication advertised on TV these days. When they start listing all the side effects — “Some taking Skinniwizzi experience dizziness, suicidal thoughts, blurred vision, explosive diarrhea, lower free-throw percentage …” — I tune it all out, although I’m sure all those risks are worth it for the 13 percent improvement in your psoriasis. I mainly don’t listen because if they’re spending that kind of money on TV ads, it’s way overpriced, my health insurance company will laugh at me for asking about it, and I hate to support Big Pharma and their evil any more than I have to.

Let’s face it: The listings of side effects are the new car alarm. No one hears a car alarm and thinks, “Oh my gosh! Someone is stealing a car! I can’t believe it!”

Next time, though, I might listen. And next time I hear a car alarm, I’m gonna grab my shotgun … just in case.


Oh, and just in case you don’t know “Logan’s Run” …

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