We all know that frail little old ladies are standing in line for hours to get flu shots they need to keep the killer bacteria at bay. That many sick folks undergoing chemo are going without the vaccinations, even though they are among the highest risk to die from the flu. That our nation's elderly, who aren't able to find access to the precious shots, are scared to death.
But there's good news: Bill Frist will be just fine this fall. (We know what you're thinking"Oh, shit, thank God.") Our senator won't be heaving chunks of Thanksgiving's offerings into his porcelain bowl or sitting on the throne for hours doubled up with diarrhea. No, we'll be the ones in the volunteer army of flu-vaccine abstainers who have heeded the advice of this country's government: unless you're sick, pregnant or of an at-risk age, you forego the undersupplied shots.
People have generally complied with these guidelines, probably because most folks are decent. Even those who may not fit this general description (George Bush and John Kerry?) have had the good sense to pretend for the sake of appearances. But even after the federal health department and the CDC issued these calls for compassion and selflessness, Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist set up a flu-shot wet bar in his Senate office and urged all of his colleagues to come in for oneeven if they didn't fall into one of the at-risk groups. He himself got one (he's 52 and healthy), and defended the decision in part by saying that the Capitol physician recommended it for all glad-handing legislators who could catch it or spread it.
The shots, mind you, were abundant for those on the Hilland they were free of cost and came with no questions asked. Frist clearly embraced the sickening inequity and did his best to make sure the privileged received the preferential treatment.
It's enough to make our stomachs turn. But it's nothing a flu shot would help.