Monday, September 14, 2009

stay home when you're sick

Why is that so hard? It should just be common knowledge that anyone who feels sniffly, stuffy, or pukey, or who has a sore throat, cough, or fever should stay home.

This would significantly decrease the number of colds and flus going around. Sure, they do say that you're contagious before you even notice the symptoms, but that doesn't mean you aren't contagious anymore once you have symptoms. So while you may not save the people you hugged just before your symptoms started, you can still save everyone you're going to breath on after.

Here is the simple advice given from the Dean of the School of Medicine in this afternoon's newsletter: "Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness."

Sounds simple enough, right? I woke up this morning with a sore throat and cough. I had already had a bit of a stuffy nose, but it was so mild that I was trying to convince myself that it really wasn't anything. Maybe just pregnancy stuffiness? (Blame everything on pregnancy...)

But this morning I decided to stay home. I am actually incredibly productive when I work from home. So today I followed my own advice and stayed home. And I worked and worked and worked. And I accomplished a lot.

And I felt guilty. Oh, so guilty. I'm barely even sick. Can I even call this sick? At this very moment I have no stuffy nose, no sore throat, and no cough. But I did this morning--I swear. I should be feeling proud of myself for following this simple advice to stay home. But I don't. I feel like I should tough it out. Don't be a wimp. Show up to work. Sit at my desk sneezing and blowing my nose and rubbing sanitizer into my hands every 10 minutes. Real workers push through the pain. Wimps stay home sick.

Because that's what has been ingrained in our heads. You don't get promoted for staying home in order to stop the spread of germs.

I want to scream at sick people and say, "Go home!! Your job isn't that important! We'll survive without you for a few days! Get out of here!!"

And yet I find it hard to follow my own advice. Especially since I'm going on maternity leave after Friday. It's my last week at work before my leave and here I am working from home. I finished way more than I would have sitting at my desk with distractions, but no one else knows that. Instead it just looks like I'm slacking off.

Sure--call me a slacker. But you'll thank me when you aren't sniffling next week.


madichan said...

I also think we have kind of a skewed perspective, since there are actual people in an actual hospital next door to us that are *super* sick. Additionally, I think after working at the med school for more than 12 months, your immune system is totally reinforced. I've definitely pushed through and come to work when I'm sick, mostly because I feel like a wimp for staying home as well.

However, considering that we're gearing up for a potentially crazy flu season this year, it's probably a good idea not to wear out your immune system by a) trying to push through something that would take 1 day to recover from, and b) spreading malaise throughout the office. So, bravo for staying home today.

Plus, since you're pregnant, it's probably a good idea to get all the recovery time you can, because you may not be able to bounce back the same way you would have 9 months ago.

mj said...

so i'll thank you when i AM sick next week...but i'll be glad that we did the old switch-a-roo. i still owe you cookies. i haven't forgotten.

Julia said...

wow, this is good timing. i was just home yesterday from work because i felt awful and here i am today in the office - still sick.

i feel so guilty when i stay home, but yes, you're right, spreading the flu/cold thing i have isn't the best idea either.

i have an urgent care appointment this afternoon. we'll see how it goes.

hope you feel better molly. :)

Ashley C. said...

One of my professors put the same note on a handout the other day- stay home from class or field trips if you're sick- but I can't help but feel that if I were to stay home from a field trip for being a little sick, I would TOTALLY get in trouble! I don't believe him.

Veeda said...

i'm glad you stayed home. get all the rest you can!