The Perfect Storm of Flu Season Complacency

Posted by Becky Squiers on Thu, Sep, 15, 2016

When it comes to staying healthy during flu season, people are generally super complacent. They don’t take action. And many people don’t think it’s very important.

Why is that? Why are people so willing to take their chances against the flu, rather than taking some steps to prevent it?


Well there isn’t just one answer. In fact, flu season has a lot of different factors that can lead to complacency and inaction. It’s basically a perfect storm.


Anyone can go online and find some type of “resource” to support what they believe. Unfortunately, those resources aren’t always credible—which lends to the mass amount of misinformation that goes around about health and medicine.

Vaccines have been thrown right into the mix of that information—the flu vaccine especially! One of those popular myths is that the flu can be caused by the flu shot. That simply isn’t true.

The flu shot is made either from an inactivated flu virus, or from proteins that don’t contain the virus at all. There is no way that the components of the flu shot can infect someone who receives it.

Another myth is that vaccines can be harmful to your health and cause disorders like autism. Science has repeatedly shown that is just not true.

Finally, many people believe the flu shot just doesn’t work. Experts recommend the flu shot, though, as the single best way to protect yourself from the flu. When flu season rolls around, your best bet is to get vaccinated.

No matter how much correct information is spread about the importance of the flu shot, there will always be misinformation a click away. That misinformation can have people confused and complacent throughout flu season.


There are lots of different things that can make you feel ill in the fall and winter. Not all of those are the flu. Many people use the word “flu” as a generic term when, in reality, it’s a serious and specific illness.

The flu is cause by the influenza virus. While influenza is a specific virus, there are many different types (or strains). What makes influenza stand out from other illnesses is its high attack rates and severity.

The flu spreads like wildfire every fall and winter. It’s passed very easily from one person to the next. People tend to feel sick very suddenly. It doesn’t come on slowly like the common cold. The flu will also likely put you out of commission for several days—and maybe up to a couple weeks.

When people assume any cold or 24-hour bug is the flu, they start to believe it’s really not that bad. They completely misunderstand just how serious the flu can be. They believe the risk they face is small, and they’re better off taking their chances.


When it comes to the influenza virus itself, the only thing scientists can predict is that it’s unpredictable. Influenza can change and mutate, which makes it super hard to say what will happen with a lot of confidence.

Naturally, that has contributed to a skeptical public. Just think about past flu seasons.

We’ve witness sudden flu outbreaks that nobody saw coming. We’ve also heard strict warnings of severe flu seasons that never panned out. We’ve even seen vaccine predictions that were off the mark.

All of these things happen because the virus is unpredictable. People often view them as scientific mistakes, however, which can lead to a mistrust of the experts in charge of flu prevention. Mistrust is a perfect breeding ground for complacency.

As you can see, it’s not just one factor that leads to widespread inaction during flu season. It’s a perfect storm. But the best way to stay healthy and avoid the serious threats of flu season is to get the flu shot.

Help your employees be part of the crowd that takes action to stay healthy. Help them overcome the perfect storm of complacency during flu season.

Do you focus on flu prevention at work? Let us know how in the comments below!

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Topics: Workplace Flu Shots


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