With COVID-19 spreading rapidly throughout the country, staying home when sick should be obvious. But I’m hearing from family and friends that their coworkers aren’t abiding by this rule. Here are some reasons why you should:
Your body needs rest.
What happens when you’re sick? You feel weak. You want to sleep all day. Your immune system was compromised enough that it couldn’t prevent you from getting sick in the first place. You aren’t functioning at your peak.
Your stamina isn’t the same. You can barely exercise or get through the day.
There is no reason to force your body to keep performing when it’s telling you it doesn’t want to. Besides, the longer you take to rest, the longer you’re going to be under the weather.
Your mind needs rest.
You’ve been working too hard, haven’t you? I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say, “I’ve been slacking off at my job so much I feel relaxed. I’m ready to work harder.”
Your head has too many thoughts to function efficiently. You’re burnt out. Tired of the non-stop work. Tired of commuting. Tired of meetings. Tired of a 100 emails a day. Tired of rude customers who you have to smile at. You can’t solve problems because you can’t think clearly.
A sick day—real time away from work, not thinking about work or doing work gives your mind time to rest.
I always feel mentally rejuvenated after a sick day. Even if I’m only a “little” sick.
Stress causes illness. You don’t want to cause illness in others, do you?
You may think it’s only a cold or allergies. But I bet you’re coworkers disagree with you. They’re now bathing themselves in hand sanitizer because they had to be in the same room with you, wondering if you have the coronavirus.
I have no interest in fear mongering. But most people are already fearful. They are in a state of fight or flight. They’ve activated their sympathetic nervous system. They are tense. You coughing across the room isn’t going to help. They are going to stiffen every time you do. They’re going to worry about catching what you have, about transmitting it to their high-risk loved ones, and they aren’t going to relax until this is all over.
You are now contributing to your coworkers source of stress. It’s not your job to manage their stress. But I believe in being considerate of others when you can.
You’re spreading germs, no matter what you have.
I cringe every time another person sneezes or coughs in public. I don’t care if it’s into an elbow or a tissue. Still, yuck. I’m no germaphobe, but I have no interest in being around another human’s bodily fluids.
And what if you’re wrong? What if it isn’t a cold, and you have a sinus infection? Or the flu? Or God forbid the coronavirus? I keep hearing about possible undiagnosed, mild cases spreading the virus faster than the very sick people.
Besides, you still can spread your “mild” illness around to people who are more susceptible and would get a more serious version of whatever you have.
You aren’t getting any real work done anyway.
Sure you’re answering emails. But solving the difficult problems, that’s not happening today. You’re doing the absolute minimum. Staring blanky at the computer, resting your eyes for a minute, and blowing your nose—hopefully washing your hands after each time you do (20-30 times a day).
That headache and sinus pressure is the only thing on your mind, and you’re counting down the minutes until you can go home.
You’ve got unused sick days—from last year.
This doesn’t apply to everyone. Not everyone gets sick days. I’ve been there. And I’ll address those issues in a minute.
If you do have sick days, why the heck are you not using them? Your employer factors in the amount of sick days you get when they decide your salary. They account for the fact that you’re going to get sick and need some time off. Why aren’t you?
If you aren’t using your sick time, you aren’t adequately resting. You can’t complain about not getting enough time off from work if you aren’t taking ALL of your days.
Besides, if you used your sick days on days when you were just feeling “off” you might not have gotten really sick now.
Those are YOUR days. They are yours. Use them.
One or two days off now, is better than a week and a half or month later.
Losing one day of pay is very bad when you’re barely getting enough hours in the first place. But if you continue to push your body beyond its limits, you’re going to get sicker and sicker until you can’t function. And then your long-term well-being, possibly even your life will be in jeopardy. You will set yourself up for more problems—more expensive problems—if you don’t take that $80–$100 loss today.
I’ve worked many hourly wage jobs, and I’ve always taken time off when I was sick. I don’t have a benefactor footing every bill. I have a support system, but I don’t hit them up for cash. I’ve always found a way to make it work own my own.
I believe deep down that I will have enough. I believe I’ll always have food, and a roof over my head. Those core beliefs have gotten me through some difficult financial times. It’s the core beliefs that manifest my reality.
I’ve had times where I thought I didn’t have enough cash to pay bills, and I simply went over the math again and it worked out. The story about Jesus and the loaves and fishes I’ve seen work with in my own life. One moment I didn’t have enough, and the next, those same numbers can cover everything I need. And I’m not talking about bad math.
I’ve never gone hungry, nor lost electricity for taking a sick day when I need it. What I need comes at the right time—just in time. The power of the mind really works. And I’m not talking about asking other people for money. I’ve found unexpected opportunities and received unexpected gifts. I expect what I need to be there—to show up when I need it
(Check out Wallace Wattles, an early American writer on the law of attraction. His work is in public domain, I believe, so you can find free PDFs of the Science of Growing Rich online.)
When you are physically healthy, you can think positively. You can use the law of attraction. You can come up with great ideas—new ideas to help you get through hard times. You can work harder after you’re rested. I’ve been clear-headed enough, healthy enough to make good, smart choices through difficult times. That’s how this blog started. It doesn’t make money, but it gives me fulfillment. It helps and has helped me come up with new ways to live so I don’t have to be stressed out and broke.
Besides, my health is more important to me than money, than debt.
Maybe skip Netflix, cable or internet this month. Eat beans and rice. Get rid of your smartphone. Make some hard choices. If you constantly put off taking care of yourself for a business, for money, to provide for others, you won’t be around in the future to help the business, to earn the money, and provide for others. You won’t physically be here anymore.
The work is not going anywhere.
You just have to get XYZ done, right? Wrong.
People always say they have so much work to do, right now. Something that has to get done today, by tomorrow, etc. And they have to do it, because they procrastinated, etc. Guess what? People can, and will function without you. The work can wait. People functioned and waited before you got hired, and they will do so again when you’re not there.
It took me a long time to realize this, but I don’t have to always be the leader in a group. I don’t always have to offer my input. Why? People can come up with solutions without you. It might not be your solution. But if something needs to get done, it will get done whether you’re there or not. And if you’re the only one that can do it, truly, it will wait until you return.
If you died tomorrow, they’d start looking for your replacement by the end of the week—and probably have someone in house take over until they found someone.
People can accommodate delays.
Ask for help. And return the favor when it’s needed.
You are not a machine.
And even if you were, machines need breaks, rest, and need to be restarted. They need recalibration, oiling and repairs. Purging of the cache and cookies. The human body is no different.
Stop trying to act like a machine that doesn’t ever break down. No such physical thing exists.
You are contributing to the status quo.
When people are sick, they say things like, “time is money.” And, “I can’t let a little illness stop me from making money.” And, “I don’t have time to stop.” They put the needs of the business above their well-being. This is capitalism. We are human capital. Disposable, replaceable. Our only value is how much money we can make a company.
And every time you go into work sick, you’re raising the baseline expectation for everyone at your job. No longer are “little colds,” “bad allergies,” or a “minor headache” a reason to stay home and rest. It must be something dangerously contagious. The business can’t slow down for a moment because employees are sick.
As long as we the people, as a whole continue to allow our employers to abuse us, and encourage us to work as our bodies break down, this will continue to be the norm. Stop perpetuating society’s bad habits of overworking and not resting. Stop putting money above life.
That’s what I see happening during the COVID-19 pandemic. People refuse to rest, even if they are only “a little” sick. People are LYING about their wellness status in order to continue working, traveling and conducting business as usual. They are putting their jobs and their money above their health, other people’s health, and the health of our society. (I’m not talking about health care workers).
Now is a time for rest, and if we as a people—as Americans—do not heed this warning, there will be consequences. For you, for your loved ones, for our country.
Our country is sick right now. Are we going to stay home and rest? Or are we going to continue to push forward, coughing and hacking all the way? Will we take time to stop and reevaluate how we do things? Or is it business as usual?
We as individuals can make the change. Stop contributing to an unhealthy status quo. Mandatory 24-hour quarantines will come if we don’t slow down and stay home.
Either we’ll come out of this with more “work from home” jobs with better “work/life” balance, or everyone will be in some business with delivery services, and capitalism will be worse. Many people will have gotten sick and died, and the future will look grim. Has the worst of our bad habits finally reached its peak? I sure hope so.
If you are tired of reading about illness, sickness and pandemics I suggest you investigate The Science of Being Well by Wallace Wattles. It’s refreshing—and flat out states to avoid reading and talking about diseases.
Also, I understand the consequences of American business coming to a standstill are very serious. But if you can stay home, if you have the luxury to do so, please do, especially to help protect those who can’t. Also, consider other opportunities. The world henceforth will be different. Society is changing. How we work is changing. Move with the tide or be swallowed. Capitalism, in its current form, cannot continue to sustain us.
If you are looking for a legitimate job you can work from home and have a bachelor’s degree & teaching experience, apply for a position with VIPKid. This is my referral link. Contact me if you’re interested and I can work with you through the hiring process. I teach English online occasionally, and aside from how the pandemic is affecting people in China, I can still work. I don’t like plugging myself, but I’m hoping I can help someone looking for work.
Stay well my friends.