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Ah, it's flu season. The time of year where every other person is wearing a doctor's mask in public and you're left wondering whether they are sick, or they're trying to stay healthy. Either way, I avoid them at all costs. Being currently sick myself, I thought I would share some thoughts on having the flu while in school or when you have to work.
When I was in elementary school, the biggest question during this time of year was always; how sick is too sick? I heard this all the time from the people around me, from the teachers, parents, and even my classmates. Well, in my mother's eyes, sick enough to miss school was always if I had a fever above 100 or if I was vomiting my guts out. This has stuck with me all throughout my life so far.
Now that I am in the "real world" and forced to be a decision making adult, I've noticed just why the flu is popping up left and right, claiming so many as a host to its disgusting livelihood. So many people, young and old, are breaking the illness rule that I've come to know and somewhat love; if you're running a fever or need a portable bathroom; stay at home!
I personally work in retail at the moment, the biggest retailer at that, and let me tell you, there are even more germs in there than there are customers! It's a war-zone in there, and all I am armed with is hand sanitizers and Clorox wipes. Working directly with the infected is not ideal, especially when handling money. Sure, money is never perfectly clean, but there's just something about when a customer rubs their runny nose just before handing you a twenty.
So, back to the point of this miniature essay; why is the flu so alive, well and spreading like a wild fire? People don't stay home when they're sick! A lot of work places have a limited amount of days you can miss before you are kicked to the curb, which is understandable. There is always that one coworker who wouldn't come in if their neighbor's uncle's goldfish died. However, when someone is actually sick, meaning; "I feel like I'm dying" sick, then let them be sick without worrying about losing their job!
A lot of work places will cut you a break when you actually have been sick, so sometimes, you can focus on getting better. And better yet, you can focus on not getting everyone else sick while you recuperate! Though, with schools, it's a little bit different...
Ah, school. I don't particularly miss that time of my life... anyways, I do remember how worrisome is was when I fell ill. When I was in the tenth grade, I got the worst case of the stomach flu I have ever had. It was complete with dizziness, fever, weakness, and any normal thing you may expect from the stomach flu. Anyways, I went to school just three days after I first got it, and I regretted it. I had believed I was better, I felt better, looked better and my fever was gone. Yet, halfway through the school day, it came back with a vengeance.
Long story short, I ended up in the hospital hooked up to an IV to stay hydrated for two days. At the time, I was only worried about getting better, getting a doctor's note and returning to school.
After a full week and a half, I returned to school, three doctors' notes in hand, ready to face the never-ending pile of make-up work I knew that I would be greeted with, when I got the lovely news that my absences would not be waived! Not the worst thing that could've happened honestly, I just had to stay after school for a couple of days for one class, it was all taken care of then. Though, at the time, it felt like the end of the world. I had so many more important things to do, but I still got it easy.
Others however, are not as lucky. Very often, children will be forced into Saturday school, kept after school, or even held back due to illnesses. In some states, parents can even be punished for not sending their children to school, no matter if they have the flu or not! And yet, we wonder why the flu runs so rampant.
With such busy lives for people of all ages and backgrounds, there is never enough time to allow ourselves to become healthy again. The germs spread from person to person even quicker than a new paycheck is spent. There is nothing we can do about it but complain and try our best to stay healthy. Still have to work, still have to learn, even if you're a flu-induced version of the walking dead while it's happening.