This thing called life.

Prince died today.

He was a huge part of my pop culture memories from my formative years. One of the best concerts I’ve ever seen, even today. He wrote songs that generations of people loved, played dozens of instruments purely for the love of the art, and made Purple Rain, one of the first movies I had to watch more than once while it was at the RKO Theater on Main Street. (And he would one-up his own best performance years later during this magical Super Bowl Halftime show in 2007.)

And Prince may have died of the flu, it seems. Which is devastating. So here’s your reminder: not every cold is the flu, but when it is, it can and does kill people. Even today, in 2016. In a first world country. Even if you’re being treated specifically for influenza, as it would appear Prince was earlier this week.

The flu is terrifying, and powerful.

So get vaccinated every year. Yes, every year. I know it’s only partially effective, and I know you’re not in the target age group. Get vaccinated.

And when you’re being stoic and stubborn and fighting through your next really tough cold? Be cognizant of your symptoms (or trust someone you love to be aware for you) and don’t wait too long to see if you need treatment. Please.

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