Hammertime: It’s flu time and help is a shot away

This week’s Hammertime is all about the flu shot and taking care of yourself.

Mike Rainone


For quite a few years I have always really looked forward to writing this weekly column about this great community and its really great folks and families.

In the Hammer’s Column we have always had lots of fun with all sorts of subjects and situations that along the way may have and likely will affect all of us, no matter what our age or walk of life may be. For all of us throughout our longstanding relationships, careers, and friendships we have really enjoyed sharing and caring so much for each other, and this should always include our health and well being, a vital subject that I will dwell on just a little this Wednesday as we begin the exciting adventures and challenges of the New Year 2019.

That nasty flu virus is having its way once again

Alberta Health Services statistics near the end of 2018 reported that there was already 1985 Influenza A cases in the province (63 per cent in Calgary), and that with the ever-changing weather conditions this nasty virus has been effecting people of all ages at a steady and increasing rate. A mid-December statistic shows that 427 Albertans had been admitted to Alberta Hospitals with the flu, and that there have already been six deaths in this new season. Influenza is a respiratory disease that affects the nose, throat, and lungs in all age groups, and can easily be passed on to others on a 24-7 basis.

Our government has continued to offer the FREE Immunization of the flu vaccine since the fall of 2018 for all Alberta citizens from the ages of five years and beyond. As of Nov. 24, 2018, 998,842 doses of the FREE flu vaccine have been administered across the province, and for this influenza season our government has allotted 1.6 million doses of the vaccine at a cost of $12.6 million. This will immunize 35 per cent of our Alberta population against the flu virus, and more can be ordered if we reach that goal. During the last 2017-2018 Flu season 1.3 million shots were administered to Albertans, which represented 29 per cent of the population.

The four vital day-to-day options for everyone to help keep the miserable flu bug away from the door include: Cover your cough, clean your hands thoroughly and often, stay home if you are sick, and of course make a date for the whole family to get immunized. Please, please dress for the weather conditions, and consider getting your flu-shot today, not only to protect yourselves, but also your family, work-mates, neighbours, friends, and community. Check your local pharmacies in this area or elsewhere that can administer the free flu shot, or for more information contact the Alberta Health Services website. In this case just a few seconds of discomfort could go a very long way in preventing a whole lot of pain and suffering in the future. Thank you for your care and co-operation.

Now just a little bit on the brighter side

A man brought home his best buddy for dinner one night unannounced at 5:30 p.m. after work.

His wife immediately began screaming at him and his friend just nonchalantly sat there and listened in. “My hair and makeup are not done, the house is a mess, the dishes are not done, I’m still in my pyjamas, and I can’t be bothered with cooking tonight. What in the world did you bring him home for?” she firmly asked.

“Because he’s thinking about getting married,” her husband quietly replied.

Getting old can also have a lot of perks.

• Just because we may have snow on the roof it doesn’t mean that there isn’t fire in the furnace. Of course that is assuming that our pilot light hasn’t blown out.

• We might walk just a little slower, but that’s okay because it gives us more time to remember where we were going and why.

• Old age is nature’s way of saying go and find some new ways to have fun.

• We can attend those new yoga classes for seniors, where we all assume a certain pose and after an hour the instructor comes around and wakes us up.

My belated New Year’s greeting to you all

May peace break into your home and may thieves steal all your debts.

May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet for $100 bills.

May love stick to your face like Vaseline, and may laughter assault your lips.

May happiness slap you across the face, and may all your tears be those of joy.

May all your problems forget your home address, which will always be a gift all wrapped up together in a family full of fun. We are now back into longer days, so don’t be blue and just go ahead and have a great week, all of you.

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