After more than two years, we had Covid in the house for the first time.
It started with one of us testing positive. Then, within a couple of days, the rest of us were testing positive.
Thankfully, none of us had any severe symptoms. It also seems that none of us will have lingering symptoms (i.e. long-Covid).
Pre-pandemic, every household member said they would have sucked it up and gone to work.
I did it many times. I’d be feeling crappy, sneezing, coughing, etc.… and off I went. It took a lot to keep me at home.
But at what cost?
When I needed to rest and get better, I would get dressed and drag myself through the working day. Did I extend my illness as a result? Maybe.
What about those around me? It’s not like I wore a mask to protect them. I did try to be conscious of using facial tissue and washing my hands. However, that only goes so far when you’re in spaces with so-so ventilation.
So, how many others got sick because I chose to come to work sick?
Here’s what I know: Taking responsibility for your health works. And, in doing so, you don’t put others’ health in danger.
A good friend works for a company that manufactures facial tissue. Over the past two years, while we were all masking, distancing, and handwashing, the company temporarily shut down their facial tissue line as the market dried up.
Simply put, the consumers of their product weren’t getting sick with colds and cases of flu.
Do the people you work with feel pressured to be at work when they feel sick? Are deadlines seen as more important than people looking after themselves?
During the pandemic, companies were offering unlimited sick time. So why not make this a permanent benefit?
I’d be surprised if more than a tiny minority abused it. After all, when I had five days of paid sick time in a year, I only occasionally used more than 1-to 2 of them.
Better yet, let’s start placing the stigma on coming in to work sick rather than staying home.
Teams look after each other. Just ensure that includes staying home, washing hands, or wearing masks so others don’t get sick.