We Do Sick Wrong


We do sick wrong.

I’m not talking sick sick.

I’m talking colds… flus… coughs… sore throats… upset stomachs.

People come to work sick, and they feel heroic.

Like an athlete playing through injury, or an explorer refusing to succumb to the elements, they ‘bravely’ soldier on.

Except that they’re not heroes. They’re patient zeroes.

As a society, we should expect sick people to stay at home.

We should expect that they quarantine themselves away from the rest of us.

There should be a social cost for breaking that rule.

We spend so much energy trying to avoid petty grievances. Trying not to offend. Trying not to hurt. We hold our tongues, we don’t speak our minds, we tolerate for months on end without saying a thing. Most of us work hard not to inflict harm.

But sickness? Most people don’t think twice.

Coughing and spluttering and touching on every surface. Breathing and sneezing the air full of mess.

If you’re sick, don’t come to work. Stay at home.

Sleep on the couch. Wash your hands. Don’t touch anything.

Hide yourself from your kids. Hide yourself from your wife.

Don’t do sick wrong.

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