Steve Chapman

Each day, I rise with the thought that maybe my health is returning to normal. And each day, the virus retorts: What's the hurry?

At least I have the pleasure of congratulating myself for getting a flu shot, which may have spared me something worse. I don't actually have great confidence that the flu shot works -- at preventing the flu, I mean.

I have found it exceptionally effective in a different way. Years ago, I came down with the worst case of the flu I've ever had, which eventually caused my doctor to check me into a hospital.

Once there, I received a procession of physicians, nurses and interns, each of whom would examine me, diagnose my malady and conclude with a hint of smugness: "I guess you should have gotten a flu shot." It was some satisfaction to be able to silence them by responding, "Actually, I DID get a flu shot."

No, I didn't add a bad word starting with "A" at the end of that sentence. Not out loud, anyway.

Getting my bug is not the worst of the bad options available this winter. By staying home and away from infectious humanity, I may have dodged that norovirus that's been going around. "Classic symptoms of norovirus," reports the Times, "are 'explosive' diarrhea and 'projectile' vomiting." I haven't had it quite so bad.

If you're suffering from those symptoms, you have my deepest sympathy. And I think I speak for your superiors when I tell you not to rush back to work. Really.

Steve Chapman blogs daily at To find out more about Steve Chapman, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at


Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman is a columnist and editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune.

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