The flu is definitely going around, and the vicious virus is also a hot topic of conversation online. I personally spent much of the past six days cooped up in my house with a sick child. This flu virus was a doozy, worse than the pneumonia he's had twice.

As a parent, it's even worse when all you can do is give them something for the fever, keep them hydrated and comfortable, and wait.

Lots of parents around Kern County are doing the same thing for their kids.

On the Facebook page (), Kimberlee Holinka writes, "My kids have had it twice this year, my poor baby girl ... is still coughing from being sick this last time 2 weeks ago."

Yes, the cough seems to be lingering.

Tragically, a 9-year-old Bakersfield girl died last week from influenza A. When it was revealed that she did not get a flu shot, much discussion was had regarding the vaccines on The Californian Facebook page (

It seems that everyone has their own views on whether the vaccine is worth it. Personally, my son and I don't get the shot. It's been 25 years since I've had the flu and this was the first time ever that he had it.

He did get a flu shot in pre-school when it was required. But then there were those years there was a shortage of the vaccine, and he and I never fell into the "at-risk" groups, so I never pursued getting one.

On the other hand, my mom gets one every year, and every year she gets the flu.

So who knows how effective the vaccine will be each year? But after the past week, I'm thinking I'll pursue getting my son the shot next year.

California for Beginners

Aside from the flu shot, there's one image that has really gone viral over the past week.

Have you seen the "California for Beginners" map?

If not, you can find it at the top of my Facebook page (

I haven't been able to figure out where it originated, but the image of the state is producing some laughs with regions labeled as "tech stuff," "usually on fire," and "cow death camp."

It's hysterically accurate, and popular -- with almost 200 shares from my page alone.

A simple Google search brings up an unending number of links where it has been posted.


Bored with just posting pictures to Instagram and sharing them on your social media site? Well, there's good news for you.

Vine, owned by Twitter, launched last week.

What is Vine, you ask?

Vine is an iOS app (sorry, Android users) that lets you create 6-second video clips, and share them on networks like Twitter, Facebook or on the Vine app.

If you aren't interested in another app, you can check out the lasted posted videos at

It can be fun if you're into creating stop-motion videos. had a detailed How-To recently. You can find the link at

As it is with all new apps, users feel the need to push the envelope with moderators.

Vine was hit over the weekend with many, many posts containing ... um ... adult content.

Of course.

Jamie Butow is the community engagement coordinator for The Network. Email her at Follow her at, and on Twitter @JamieButow.