Influenza takes questions from key media outlets to rebut assertions by COVID-19 that Flu's heyday has come to an end. He replies to MSNBC, Fox News, CBS, & the Christian Science Monitor.
MSNBC: “Mr Flu, last year when everyone was masked up, you killed maybe 600 people. What will happen this winter if everyone observes social isolation and masks up like they should?”
Influenza: “Yes, last year was a tough year for us. Plus, a higher percentage of Americans were vaccinated against the Flu than had ever been vaccinated before. If COVID is so tough, how come everyone is not jumping at the chance to get the COVID vaccine?”
FOX News: “We know that masks don't really work. The people in the White House now want to mandate COVID 19 vaccines for all Americans. Why haven't they mandated a Flu vaccine? Even during your last pandemic in 2009, no one suggested a Flu vaccine mandate.”
Influenza: “Good question. I don't know why the feds aren't more scared of me. I kill roughly 35 000 Americans a year. Let me refer you to an observational study done in Japan in the early 1960s through the 1980s. Japanese health officials decided that children were the main spreaders of Flu. As you may remember, I hammered Japan in the 1957 pandemic...a lot of grandparents living with their grandchildren and children in close quarters. Even COVID-19 would have had a good year with that set up.
As the paper points out, the death rate in Japan was 3-4 times that of the US in those years. Japan then had a big push to vaccinate all school children and interestingly didn't put much emphasis on immunizing adults. Vaccine rates in school age children went from essentially 0 to 50-85%.
Adult death rates plummeted until the early 1980's when DTP vaccines were thought to be damaging children and antivaccine sentiment took off. Flu death rates jumped back up when school children stopped getting immunized.
I appreciate your network's stand on over-reaching government mandates. Why should anyone be forced to protect themselves and others if they don't want to participate. I personally think that surgeons in the OR shouldn't be forced to wear masks or wash their hands if they don't want to. It infringes on their rights and it's hard to breathe in those masks.
CBS: “Mr. Flu, you brag about your ability to mutate, but hasn't COVID-19 shown his prowess in that field? We are up to an Omicron variant and so far, each variant looks a little worse than the previous one.”
Influenza: “Yes, there is a little truth in that. But look at my versatility. I have multiple A and B strains ready to step up to the plate if the CDC makes a lucky guess and picks the right strain to put in the vaccine. You do know that there are now 4 strains in every Flu vaccine. The Feds have no idea what I am going to do next. The COVID vaccine just protects against one spike protein, and it still seems to be pretty effective against the variants. I'll admit, COVID-19 has had a very good year. But I have been having good years for centuries. We'll see if COVID-19 is not just another flash in the pan.
“I have time for one more question.”
Christian Science Monitor:“A lot of humans think Satan invented both you and COVID. The misery you cause every year is unbelievable. I don't really have a question but just wanted to say, I pray for you to go away forever.”
Influenza: “Ouch, that hurts more than a Flu shot. It has been said that human beings are simply a sperm cell's way of making more sperm cells. I'm a simple collection of some chemicals that wants to make more of the same chemicals. Am I so different from the sperm cell that made you?
And by the way, Satan and I are pretty good buddies. I send him a lot of “referrals” every year. As a matter of fact, God did hear your prayers and took Satan to court to get a restraining order against me from returning every year. What a joke! The case got thrown out of court. Hell is full of lawyers and God couldn't find one anywhere in Heaven.
Influenza closing remarks: Thank you for your attention. I need to go cause some misery. I am optimistic about this season. Everyone is tired of wearing masks and Flu vaccine rates are down from last year' record rates. See the chart for some quick stats for you comparing 2020 with 2021.
Once again, I anticipate a good year. While Coronavirus and I do have our differences, we did agree to come together this winter to overwhelm the medical system. I am very good at putting a lot of people in the ICU and COVID is very good at keeping people in the ICU for a long time on a ventilator. I have a feeling it is going to be a very good year.”