Dear Kid,

Let’s face it: Pretty much no one likes getting shots.

On the other hand, given a choice between a shot and death, most of us will choose a shot.

Given a choice between a shot and being ridiculously ill (with potentially long lasting side effects), most of us will choose a shot.

On the other hand, given a choice between a shot and death, most of us will choose a shot. DearKidLoveMom.comGiven a choice between a shot and making other people ridiculously ill (with death a potential side effect), most of us will choose a shot.

Which makes the political situation even weirder than you might think.

There is a discussion (and by “discussion” I mean all out fight) in Columbus (the capitol of our Great State) over whether businesses (including hospitals and other healthcare facilities) should be allowed to require employees to have a flu shot as a condition of employment.

I think the majority of the problem stems from the use of the word “flu.” No one confuses “flu” with “flew” or “flue” (or if they do, they’re wise enough not to mention it to me). But the number of people who confuse “flu” with “a bit of a cold” or “the sniffles” annually astounds me.

The flu is an acute respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses A or B. Most people who get the flu recover completely in 1 to 2 weeks, but some people develop serious and potentially life-threatening medical complications, such as pneumonia. Includes body aches, fever, sore throat, vomiting, and other assorted nasty symptoms.

You do not get over the flu in 24 hours any more than you pop two Advil and get over a migraine.

If you’ve had the flu, you understand the difference (still grateful to Gloria for bringing me apple juice and graham crackers). If you think I’m exaggerating, you’ve never had the flu. Or a migraine.

Having had the flu (once was enough, thank you very much), I get a flu shot every year. The pain of twenty-plus years’ worth of shots doesn’t even begin to compare to the death wish that is the flu.

And now there is legislation about the right (or lack thereof) to require employees to get a flu shot.

While I am all for individual responsibility and decision making, this seems beyond ridiculous. People who hang around people who have a lot of germs (young children and the elderly) and/or the vulnerable (young children and the elderly) should have the flu shot. It’s not risky, it’s not particularly painful, and it can save lives.

Yes, I think everyone should get a flu shot every year. No, I don’t think we should legislate that. Yes, I think some employers should be able to require the flu shot (and other delightful preventative measures) as employment requirements. No, I don’t think everyone has the right to make other people sick.

And Yes, I got my flu shot months ago.

Love, Mom