Your Illness is NOT My Problem
As you all know, I’ve been dealing with some form of illness for the last three weeks. FF gave me a cold which in turn lead to bronchitis (and a cracked rib) and then I developed an ear infection. It’s been pretty shitty that I have been to the doctor three different times in two weeks. But I’m feeling better every day and I’m grateful for blood sugars returning to normal. And then on Friday my boss came to work sick. With the flu.
I tweeted my discontent and one of my twitter friends (who is also an IRL friend) commented back almost immediately that my boss had every right to come to work. That me staying healthy was only my issue. That she was already sick so what should she care if anyone else got it. I was furious and as often happens on Twitter we got into a battle of 140s and after a half hour of heated exchanges we simply agreed to disagree.
Here’s the thing though, I know I’m right! I don’t say this just because I have diabetes & therefore a much greater risk of catching any errant germ or virus due to my suffering, self feeding immune system. I say this because every person has a duty to care about those around them, and their general health. When I am sick? I don’t go to work. I don’t care if I get in trouble. I rationalize it in the way that me missing 2-3 days of work is better than me only missing 1 but leading to all six of my immediate coworkers (or ANY of the 200 employees at my company) also missing a day (or more!). When you look at it from a lost time standpoint, it simply does make sense. Also, if you’re puking or sweating or coughing (or heaven forbid all three – and more!) how often do you wish those awful feelings of sickness on someone else, let alone people you work closely with every day. And also, you open yourself up to be infected again. The bug will go around & around for as long as people contaminate others by being contagious in public settings.
When your child is in daycare and then school, isn’t there a rule about not being allowed in school until 24 hours after a fever clears up? Why is this rule dismissed once we enter “the real world?” Sure, our immune systems mature and we develop antibodies over the years due to vaccinations and suffering through certain ailments (chicken pox for example) but never have humans been nor never will we be completely immune to all that’s out there.
Sure, we can take steps to protect ourselves: eat right, exercise, get plenty of liquids and sleep. But you know what? Even those who do everything right? Get sick. Sis’s neighbor is currently in the hospital fighting off some unknown bug (they’re thinking meningitis or encephalitis). This is a guy who is at least 10-15 years our senior but whom FF & I see at the gym 3 days a week doing a workout that lasts an hour and a half and who’s body is in outstanding shape. The kind of person you not only admire for being what they are at that age, but who you would be happy to simply be compared to at ANY age.
Everyone gets sick at some point. Whether it’s like me and I always have some kind of something going on to someone who gets sick so infrequently yet so violently that you know it all evens out in the end. The basic point I’m trying to convey is that if you are sick, for the love of Christ, stay home and take care of yourself. No job is worth your health and neither is endangering the health of coworkers – whether their immune system is working properly or not.