In the interest of blog synergy, I’m reposting this from my old blog.
I’m actually quite lucky. Despite being surrounded by infectious diseases for sixty hours a week, I don’t get sick all that much (OK, maybe more than most, but I don’t have data). I actually called in sick for part of the day, something I rarely do. And that got me thinking…
When I see a patient with the flu, strep throat, and other infectious diseases, I recommend that they take several days off from work—not just to recover, but to avoid sharing the bugs. A high percentage of my patients refuse, due to fears of losing their jobs. These fears are usually legitimate.
Are we insane?!?
Do we really want sick people sharing our offices? It’s true, some people are indispensable. Last night, for instance, there wasn’t anyone else available to run the walk-in clinic, and we can’t just close it down, so I sucked it up, wore gloves, and tried not to breathe on people.
But how often is someone really indispensable? I’m guessing not that often.
To add insult to misery, many jobs require lengthy forms to be filled out by the employee and their doctor whenever they are out sick. I don’t really have time to do that kind of uncompensated work, but do I want to let my patient get fired?
We need a revolution in our thinking in this country. When people have communicable diseases, they should be taken off work with little hassle. It shouldn’t be a choice. During flu season, removing a few people from the workforce temporarily could save many others from getting sick.
Well, that’s my rant for the day. Luckily I made chicken soup for my wife this weekend, and there’s plenty left over.