Happy flu season, everyone!
This year, when you get your flu shot, there’s an added bonus to the usual benefits of
- Being much less likely to get the flu
- Virtuously protecting the elderly, the babies, and the immunocompromised through herd immunity
Because flu symptoms (fever, achiness, etc) are similar to the initial symptoms of ebola, you’re also forstalling any anxiety you, or people around you, may experience as the result of the onset of your flu symptoms. The news media has been pretty irresponsible about stoking alarm over the chance of an outbreak in the United States. Calah Alexander (also of the Catholic Patheos channel) has written about how the hysteria in the news and social media has triggered anxiety attacks, and, given the tone of coverage, I’m sure she’s not the only one.
As Vox explained, an Ebola outbreak is the U.S. is incredibly unlikely since Ebola isn’t that hard to contain in a modern medical system and is hard to transmit, especially compared to panic-inducing speculation or, say… the flu.
Which brings me back around to my matching offer. The rewards of getting a flu shot (not getting sick, giving babies a proud “I got your back” nod, etc) aren’t always enough to overcome inertia to schedule the shot itself . I’d like to tip the balance a little.
For every Unequally Yoked reader who gets their flu shot (and comments here to that effect) before the end of October, I will donate $5 to GiveWell’s top-ranked medical charity (Schistosomiasis Control Initiative). [Capped at $250]
I like using good acts or other, not effective altruism-optimized donations as a trigger for my donations to GiveWell’s recommended charities. So, for example, when I recently donated to my college debate group, I matched that gift with an equal donation to GiveDirectly. This way, the choice to give to nearby people and causes cascades into increased giving to far-off organizations, which I’m less likely to think of in my day-to-day life.
So let me know, in reply to this comment that you’ve gotten your shot (and parents get credit for their kids), and I’ll report the final tallies and donation amount at the end of the month. I’d also be delighted if anyone else wants to pledge any amount to match shots, even if it’s simply a dollar per inoculation.
UPDATE: You guys are mensches, and are busting through the $250 (now $300) that I’ve pledged to match. So, please let me know if you’d like to pledge to sponsor one or more vaccination-donations, once we hit our new limit.