We survived the end of the world, the worst economy since the Great Depression, and the fiscal cliff. And you thought we were out of the woods?


Flu season is your next big obsession if you're a pessimistic Debbie Downer who dwells on a dark future. Emergency room visits for this bug are exploding nationwide, and L.A. is bracing for the worst:

While things here aren't as bad as in Boston, where a public emergency has been declared, L.A. County Department of Public Health says in a statement this week that “flu activity is now on the rise and expected to get worse over the next few weeks.”

The department, then, says it's time to get your immunization shot on, especially if your'e one of these types:

Credit: craigfinlay / Flickr

Credit: craigfinlay / Flickr

Pregnant women;

Children younger than five;

Adults 65 years of age and older;

People of any age with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease or diabetes;

People who live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities;

People who live with or care for those at high-risk for complications from the flu, including health care and day care workers.

Charlie Sheen.

Ha. We threw that last one in for laughs. But as you know, the flu can be deadly for some of the above, at least.

Meanwhile, here are some trips from the department regarding how to avoid the virus:

Washing your hands frequently, especially after using the restroom and before and after eating;

Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze;

Not touching your nose, mouth or eyes to prevent the spread of germs;

Staying home from work or school when sick.

Avoid Charlie Sheen.

Again, we kid about that last one. County Department of Public Health director Jonathan Fielding:

There is still time to get a flu shot or the flu mist nasal spray vaccine. Protect yourself, your loved ones and those around you from this illness. The flu season does not end with the winter holidays, and flu can circulate as late as May.

Here's a list of places where you can get your shots for free or at a discount. Also, pharmacies such as Walgreens offer shots, and they can often be free if you have health insurance or Medicare Part B coverage.

Stay healthy, L.A.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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