As the year 2011 comes to a grinding close, I have begun to focus on the year ahead and what that means. What is means is the start of the cold and flu season for a lot of us! That thought occurred to me as I sat at my favorite watering hole and looked down the line of occupied bar stools. It was with a sense of growing unease that I realized most of the people there were sick! The one other guy I had thought was healthy, besides myself, had just started sneezing repeatedly. I watched him a moment and then quietly got up and moved down a few stools.
I'm pretty sure that no one there had the flu, mainly because I asked them. Each of them had the sniffles and sounded like they were congested, but all of them said no when asked about pulmonary distress. Still, colds all by themselves, can be nasty and miserable. They can also be very contagious and I wondered how many of the 'regulars' had caught this bug from each other? With that thought in mind, I quickly finished my beer and left.
As I am writing this post, the flu season has yet to have done very much damage. The Center for Disease Control or CDC shows little or no influenza activity in any of the fifty contiguous states as of December the 17th. Maybe this will be a year with little or no flu-related deaths. Time will tell. Right now, only the state of Louisiana has reported slightly elevated levels as the map above shows. Let's all hope it stays green this winter!