Hard to worry about coronavirus when you have flu


Last updated 2/29/2020 at 3:23pm

It’s really hard to get worried about a worldwide pandemic when you’re already suffering from the flu.

As the fear surrounding the coronavirus spread last week so did the symptoms my body was experiencing. I really thought last Sunday that my scratchy throat was because of the effect the dust raised by 50 mph winds had on my sinuses.

I decided on Tuesday it might be worth visiting the doctor when I found my temperature slightly elevated. As the nurse was taking vitals and noting my symptoms, I asked if 98.9 classified as a fever. She pulled the thermometer device out of my right ear and showed me the 100.5 displayed on the readout and said “That does.”

I had thoughtfully put on one of those little paper masks when I came into the doctor’s office and a short time after learning I had a low-grade fever the doctor appeared with one on himself. I had teased him a few months ago when he wore a mask to the appointment and he had taken it off and hadn’t worn one since. Someone must have tipped him off.

An irritating nose and throat swab and a 10-minute wait revealed I in fact had the flu. One of my pet peeves is people who tell you they have the flu when they only have a minor head cold or an allergy. The real flu is serious stuff. If you don’t believe me call and talk to my wife about how big a whiney butt I’ve been this past week.

I have not always been religious about getting my flu shot because I’ve rarely ever had the flu. That is until recently. I’ve taken the flu shot the last two years and I’ve been rewarded with the flu two years in a row. Yeah, I’m starting to think this thing over again.

I talked to the pharmacist who filled my Tamiflu prescription through a paper mask and he told me he hoped my flu got better real soon. I retorted I was considering asking him for a refund on the flu shot he had given me in the fall but I remembered insurance had paid for it anyway.

He shot back that even if it didn’t prevent the flu, chances are it would lessen the symptoms considerably.

I believe that might be correct because, besides the episodes the last two years, the only other memory I have of the “real flu” was 10 times worse than what I’ve experienced recently.

Still it’s been a bit strange being home with the flu and listening to all the concern and political posturing being offered over the coronavirus. I found myself wishing all those talking heads on TV would come down with the real flu so the rest of us could get some peace.

Karl Terry writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

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