COVID Attitude · 4 November 2023
I think that COVID has given me a different attitude toward sick days.
COVID may or may not be in our rearview mirrors, but looking back, I can definitely see how it has affected me. Yes, I have had it a couple times. Maybe even once before it was even called COVID-19. But that is not what I mean. I mean that COVID has affected the way I think about taking sick days.
I used to think that I had to be at school all the time. I could only miss a day when I was deathly sick. I even worked with somebody who told me one day that I needed to go home. Kim was an aide in my class who said, “You’re sick. Go home.” I did. But grudgingly.
That was the way I always took sick leave. Grudgingly.
But COVID changed that. COVID has given me a new look at how I ought to use sick leave.
Now, I must say that I usually still take sick leave only when I need to. But I no longer think that I need to be deathly ill to stay home. I have decided that I can be under the weather enough to just take a day to get a bit better. Oh sure, I have gone to work when I probably should not have. Even after COVID. But those times have been few and far between. When I am deathly ill, I stay home. But like I said, there are some days when I just need a little more sleep to get over whatever little bug I might have. Those are the days that I actually take now instead of trying to power through it all.
The other attitude change that I have now about sick leave is that I need to think about other people instead of just myself.
People might think that they are being brave and noble when they power through the cold they are trying to kick. But in reality, they are just bringing the bugs to work. They are infecting others while trying to portray that they are being brave and noble. Oh sure, they are showing themselves to be tough. But at the expense of those around them. By the way, when I say “them,” I really mean me. After all, that is what I always thought. Just be tough and power through.
There is another downside to trying to power through a sickness. You often end up getting sicker because you do not take the time to get well. To just lie down and rest. And like I said with “them,” I mean the same with “you.” I end up getting sicker because I will not take the time to just rest and get better.
I am not sure that everybody has had this shift in attitude about sick leave, but that does not really matter that much. If just a few people change their attitudes, maybe those around them will benefit. And that benefit could affect even more people. That is, after all, how change is made. Just affect the people around you instead of infecting the people around you. I guess that is how COVID has affected my thinking about taking sick days.
(P.S. Just because my attitude has changed, does not mean that my actions have changed. At least not all the time.)
© 2023 Michael T. Miyoshi
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