I’m just another boring oldster who’s waiting around to start collecting social security. What was this great risk I just took?
I had a flu shot at my local CVS.
Actually, it’s labeled: FLUARIX QUAD 2016-2017 SYRINGE. I have NO CLUE what’s in there. NO idea who BERNSTEIN, S. is either (prescriber, it says on the paperwork they handed me.) I DON’T KNOW whether Mark, (as per his white pharmacy uniform) the man who injected me is a licensed pharmacist, although he seemed like a nice enough fellow. His name might NOT EVEN be Mark!
Putting on my reading glasses, I see the following small print: “Tell your health care professional if you notice any symptoms of: mental/mood changes, seizures, rash, severe dizziness, itching, swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), trouble breathing. (emphasis mine).” It continues, “Remember that your health care professional has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.” Oh, I feel so much better now! The elusive Bernstein S. is certainly someone I can rely on. Maybe he’s the surgeon general? Somehow, I don’t think so.
Actually, getting a flu shot is a habit I acquired since I passed 55 on the age scale. (Funny; I weigh myself daily, but only check my age once a year!) Most years I didn’t get the flu, although everyone I know was absent from work for days on end, after first dutifully sneezing and coughing on all us – friends and coworkers.
Hmm. So, why did I decide to get this vax today? Yesterday, I met a stranger in New York, a young feller who refused to shake my hand. Seeing my puzzled expression, he said to me, “My kids have the flu. You don’t need it!”
So I ran to the CVS today on lunch break. Everyone on line was at least 10 years older than me. Looks like the older you get, the more risks you take!
This humorous article (and photo) is intended to point out that we all engage in risk management every day and throughout each day. Weighing the uncertainty of positive and negative consequences is a normal human activity which is as old as the hills. When you read about risk management in the news or hear about it at work, it is referring to doing the same thing in a formal, repeatable matter. This maximizes effectiveness and reduces decisions made with professional bias or group-think.