One of the side effects of an influenza epidemic is the rising of those whose voices warn us that by getting a flu shot we're being suckered into a vast conspiracy between the government, the media, and the vaccine companies.

According to these pineapples, the government creates a virus in its secret laboratories in Virginia which is then released into the atmosphere to make us sick so the vaccine companies can make a profit inoculating us against it. The media of course is in on the deal because more people tune in to hear the latest updates and warnings. An artificial panic is created and everybody profits from it.

Seriously. There are graduates from the University of I Know Nothing About Medicine who question that if the vaccine worked, why are there so many people filling up hospital emergency rooms? The idea that most of those who've come down with the flu probably didn't get a flu shot never comes to mind. Not everyone ran out and got one.

On the other side of the room are the people who think the flu shot is just another way for the government to control us by injecting us with vaccines. That somehow we're lab rats. We're being given injections of chemicals that will make us passive and obedient so we won't resist when they come to take our freedoms away.

I didn't know the government wanted to take our freedoms away but then again I got a flu shot so I'm probably just another duped citizen who toes the government line.

If you want to prevent yourself from getting the flu, wipe down your cell phones, don't let anyone else use item, wash your hands, and walk away from people who are sneezing or coughing. The worst is the nine year old who unloads a virulent cough or sneeze just us you pass them by in the supermarket. I hold my breath and don't breathe until I’m at least six feet away from their contagious spew.

And here’s a hint for those who share glass smoking devices. Keep alcohol wipes at hand and never ever put someone else's paper wrapped herbal medicine into your mouth.