Last week, I had a drive thru flu shot because that’s the COVID-19 world we live in now.

My GP practice has a super-efficient process set up that involved a phone consult with my doctor earlier in the day, a time locked in for me to get my shot and clear instructions for what to do once I arrived in the practice’s car park.

At the appointed time, my GP called to confirm that I was there, instructed me to expose my right upper arm, and came out to the car park to jab my arm. I waited in the car for 15 mins and then drove off. It was clear, easy and safe.

We’re coming into flu season in the southern hemisphere, and if you haven’t already, now is the time for everyone to make plans for how and when to get your vaccination.  In Australia, flu vaccines are free for all people with diabetes.

I know that some people are wondering why flu vaccine messages are still coming out so strongly even though we’re all meant to be physically isolating. It’s still important for a number of reasons. Obviously, we don’t want people to get COVID-19 AND the flu, and we don’t want people adding to the strain of what is likely to be an over-stressed health system.

Perhaps our physical distancing will have an impact on lowering numbers this year, (which would be great considering that over 300,000 people were diagnosed with the flu last year in Australia alone). But physical distancing is no guarantee that we won’t get infectious diseases such as COVID-19 or the seasonal flu. And that’s why we need to do all that we can to minimise the risk, and potential subsequent outcomes.

The message for those of us living with diabetes is the same when it comes to getting the flu as it does for getting COVID-19. We are probably not more likely to actually get either of them, but if we do, diabetes could complicate our recovery. Plus, managing diabetes with any sort of infection usually comes with a massive degree of difficulty.

The message is clear: get your flu shot. Encourage friends and family to get theirs. It really is the responsible thing to do.