Wellness has been uppermost in my mind this week. It teases like a sweet yet distant memory. Mainly because my own health (normally excellent) has been less than stellar since the weekend after catching a virulent dose of the flu my youngest son brought home from school. It’s been four days now and I think – at least I hope – I’m almost over the worst of it. Half a forest’s worth of tissues have been used and I’ve coughed and sneezed more times than I care to think about. Add to my malaise an aching body, a throbbing head and a distinct lack of energy and you can imagine how crappy I’ve felt; my physical condition self-diagnosed as type Rattus Shittus.
All in all, not fun.
Winter is the time for coughs and colds, that’s true. It’s the same every year. But am I the only one who finds it incredibly frustrating seeing some parents continuing to send their children to school when they are still unwell? I’ve witnessed children with green, streaming noses and a barking cough that would do a German Shepherd proud. And no-one seems to carry tissues in their pockets anymore so all those little germy bastards are free to float around the classroom and attach themselves to unsuspecting, currently healthy kids. Who then bring them home to share with the WHOLE family. Joy.
But it’s not just happening at school. It’s in the work place too.
How many people at your place of business should really be at home because they’re sick? Coughs and sniffles are around everywhere. Go to a room filled with people and stop and listen for a few minutes. You’ll soon hear them. Those people who catch a bus or train to work will know what I’m talking about; public transport being the perfect incubator for all those germs to get to work, literally.
There are a multitude of reasons why people keep going to work despite being ill. Employees don’t take sick days because they’re expected to ‘keep calm and carry on’ or simply ‘grin and bear it’. Too many deadlines, work would be short-staffed if they stayed home, it’d look bad if they had more than one day off, etc. I’m generalising VERY broadly, I know, but you get my point.
Then there’s those commercials that support this way of thinking, imploring us all to ‘soldier on’ through colds and flu. Pfft. Like that’s actually possible. Honestly? The closest I got to ‘soldiering on’ this week has been reaching for the tissue box with military precision every five minutes.
So I’d like to make a public service announcement. If your little darling is exhibiting symptoms of a serious cold or bout of the flu, please – do us ALL a favour and keep them home. And if you’re an employee? Use those sick days, baby. Cheaper for your employer in the long run and much better for your health. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to find another tissue…
Have you been sick and still gone to work? Or how do you decide when to keep your kids home from school? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.