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STFU Parents: How Not To Talk About Your Kid’s Cold Or Flu On Facebook, Part II

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Last week, the CDC released data indicating that this season’s flu vaccine is only about 23 percent effective, whereas “commonly, it’s been closer to 60 percent.” In fact, that success ratio is “the lowest the agency has seen during the decade or so since it began tracking annual vaccine effectiveness,” which means that your chances of seeing annoying, depressing, or downright repulsive cold and flu-related parental status updates on Facebook this year just increased by at least 30 percent.

Twice in this space, I’ve warned of the dangers of cold and flu season on Facebook. Depending on your age and how many kids your friends have, you might even have a higher chance of catching something by scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed than you would by actually leaving the house. I feel sick just going through the submissions, so I’m guessing I’m not the only one who’s vulnerable. Does anyone else remember Snot Boy? His runny nose haunts me. When will parents finally learn that no matter how sick their kids are, detailed descriptions and pictures serving as “proof” don’t actually raise their friends’ sympathy levels?

That may sound harsh, but we’ve all been sick before, and many of us have taken care of sick kids, so this is one of those subjects about which there’s nothing to demystify. No snot rag has been left un-wrung, no toilet filled with barf left un-flushed. We’ve all been there and done that, and no one likes being reminded of the awfulness of cold and flu season when they’re killing time on Facebook. Especially if it involves looking at Snot Boy or reading about his baby sister projectile vomiting alllll over the new living room rug. Also, it’s time for parents to come to terms with the fact that no one is intentionally trying to get their children sick. There’s not a big bad conspiracy behind thousands of kids getting the sniffles and gluing themselves to the couch for a few days each January. If anything, parents should blame the CDC for recommending a mostly ineffective flu shot this year since their kids are all going to infect each other. Wading through a plethora of disgusting sickness submissions all winter long, I sure know I will be.

Here’s how NOT to talk about your kid’s cold or flu on social media, part II:

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