Ignore the Naysayers: It’s Not Too Late For That Flu Shot

iStock
iStock

The only thing that’s been getting more negative press this winter than the flu is the flu shot. Stories abound about 2018’s vaccine being less effective than usual, leading to some grumbling about whether it’s even worth the trouble.

According to Popular Science and many other outlets, there is no debate: Getting a flu shot, even this late in the season, is still very much in your best interest.

For one thing, the idea of a “flu season” is a bit shortsighted. While flu cases peak from October to March, the flu doesn’t really have a concept of our calendar and has no problem striking at any time during the year. After developing antibodies in response to the antigens present in the vaccine—a process that takes about two weeks—you’ll be far more equipped to deal with infection both at the end of the season and beyond.

Naysayers are still hesitant to get the vaccine for another reason. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the vaccine formulated this year may only be 30 percent effective against H3N2, the most dominant flu strain in circulation. But 30 percent is better than zero percent—and there’s no guarantee you won’t get hit with another strain that the vaccine is more equipped to handle.

There are more reasons to hit your pharmacy or physician’s office for a quick poke in the arm. By getting the shot, you decrease the chances of spreading the virus from yourself to others. And if you do develop a case of the flu, symptoms could be reduced in severity.

So, no, it’s not too late to get vaccinated. Do it at your earliest convenience and then do it earlier next year. And don’t forget to wash your hands (ideally while singing "Happy Birthday"—twice).

[h/t Popular Science]

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture

Wayfair/Weber
Wayfair/Weber

This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair
Brisbane/Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.
Dyna-Glo/Wayfair

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.
GoSports

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

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This Outdoor Lantern Will Keep Mosquitoes Away—No Bug Spray Necessary

Thermacell, Amazon
Thermacell, Amazon

With summer comes outdoor activities, and with those activities come mosquito bites. If you're one of the unlucky people who seem to attract the insects, you may be tempted to lock yourself inside for the rest of the season. But you don't have to choose between comfort and having a cocktail on the porch, because this lamp from Thermacell ($25) keeps outdoor spaces mosquito-free without the mess of bug spray.

The device looks like an ordinary lantern you would display on a patio, but it works like bug repellent. When it's turned on, a fuel cartridge in the center provides the heat needed to activate a repellent mat on top of the lamp. Once activated, the repellent in the mat creates a 15-by-15-foot bubble of protection that repels any mosquitos nearby, making it a great option for camping trips, days by the pool, and backyard barbecues.

Mosquito repellent lantern.

Unlike some other mosquito repellents, this lantern is clean, safe, and scent-free. It also provides light like a real lamp, so you can keep pests away without ruining your backyard's ambience.

The Thermacell mosquito repellent lantern is now available on Amazon. If you've already suffered your first mosquito bites of the summer, here's some insight into why that itch can be so excruciating.

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