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What Someone Else’s Sickness Costs You

It’s disturbing witnessing the number of people out and about who show signs of the flu. They cough, sneeze and look like they have been run over by a train. It’s not just the adults. A parent will be shopping with their child who’s wiping his nose, has a fever and coughs like it is coming straight out of his chest. Along with that, the child picks up everything in sight.

Why do they think this is acceptable! Today people have the attitude of taking care of themselves, not think about the effect on others. In the end, it hurts them too.

Influenza, (also known as the “flu”) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Common symptoms are: comes on quickly, fever, aches, chills, fatigue, cough, headache, sometimes along with sneezing, stuffy nose, and sore throat.

The CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 9.7 million flu illnesses, 87,000 hospitalizations and 4,800 deaths from flu. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This year, influenza B is predominant. The strain affects children more than adults. Usually, the season starts with influenza A, which affects older adults more than children.  With influenza B, the result is more cases of child flu and fewer cases of elderly adults.

With the perspective of lookout for your self-interest, people will show up to work even when they are sick. They believe others need to care for themselves, it’s not their concern. The outcome is that you are putting yourself in a position of risk that will cost you more than taking a day or two off work.

Let’s look at a scenario: You have the flu and don’t stay home on the grounds that you can’t afford to miss work financially. In your case, you bring the flu virus to the office and affect others. Probably okay for you since it didn’t hurt you.

Now reverse that. You can’t afford to take days off from work. Your coworker comes to work with the flu and you catch it from him. Now you are forced to visit the doctor, incur expenses, and miss a few days of work, causing loss of wages. Subsequently, his decision to come to work sick makes it your problem.

Even if you only have a cold, with a hacking cough, fatigue, and a slight fever. Your immune system weakens, making you susceptible to catching the flu from a coworker who didn’t stay home when they should have. Consequently, you catch the flu.

This is the same thing that happens with children. Your child is coughing, running a fever, feels achy, and has low energy, yet you take him out in public. He contaminates others, which causes an outbreak in his school, at his friend’s house, even in the community.

Conversely, your child has a hacking cough, sneezing, runny nose, and you have him out in public. His immune system is more susceptible to catching a virus. He becomes exposed to someone who did not keep their child home, so he catches the flu. Their selfish action caused your child to become infected. You’re now heading to the doctor’s office, and have no choice but to take a couple of days off to care for your child. This will continue unless people take into account both sides of the situation, and examine the consequences.

The moral of the story is, if you or your child are sick, stay home. Not for reason that it is the right thing to do, which it is; it’s the only way to protect yourself and your children. You will avoid trips to the doctor, paying for medications and feeling miserable. In the end, that’s what costs you more.

For your Information:

The Difference Between a Cold and the Flu


Signs and Symptoms Cold Influenza (Flu)
Symptom onset Gradual Abrupt
Fever Rare Usual; lasts 3-4 days
Aches Slight Usual; often severe
Chills Uncommon Fairly common
Fatigue, weakness Sometimes Usual
Sneezing Common Sometimes
Chest discomfort, cough Mild to moderate; hacking cough Common; can be severe
Stuffy nose Common Sometimes
Sore throat Common Sometimes
Headache Rare Common

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dana Pope
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