Today my four year old is home sick from school. He started throwing up this morning and has been at it about once an hour for the whole day so far. It’s so sad and it seems like it’s been happening a lot this year. Along with dealing with what feels like the Narnian Eternal Winter, it’s been the winter of non-stop sickies.

Poor sick boy

Poor sick boy

I wouldn’t call myself a germaphobe. I let dogs give me “kisses” and if a piece of food falls on the ground at my house, I don’t worry when my son invariably picks it right back up and eats it. But when it comes to colds and flus, I am a whole different kind of animal. I become a Lysol-wipe-wielding  lunatic. I have very strong opinions about spreading germs, and to be honest with you, most of the people in my family think I’m nuts.

Nothing annoys me more than people who are sick – not just a cough or runny nose sick, but fever and throwing up sick – and who insist on continuing on as though nothing is different; they come to work, they go to family outings. They act as though they aren’t spreading sickness.

When I or one of my children are sick, we hunker down and go nowhere. We watch movies. We eat popsicles. We drink tea (or Gatorade). We miss out on events when we’re sick. We don’t go to other people’s home without first calling them up and saying “Hey, we want to come, but we are sick with *insert current illness*. Do you want to skip it and re-schedule?”

And you know what? It sucks. Since January of this year, it seems like someone in the family has been sick each week. This means that on top of having a crummy long winter, we’ve been isolated as well. But when I think about going out to different functions, all I picture is how annoyed I would be if someone else did that to me.

So tell me. Is there etiquette about this? What do you do when you’re sick? Do you send your kids to school sick? Do you go to work? Is your decision to go to work sick influenced by financial obligations? Do you feel that if you’re meant to get sick you’ll get sick so it doesn’t bother you to be around sick people?

Comment (1)

  • I understand what you are going through, whenever a loved one especially a child is sick it is very hard. What I can offer is a little advice that could later keep the problem from happening again . I have learned to wash all door handles and light switches , It really does help. Also clean their toys if they are plastic without batteries use a tub of soap and water and a touch of bleach. Just a touch! And rinsed out thoroughly.If the toy has batteries and is best not to emerge toys in water so possibly use a spray bottle with soap and water and a clean towel. If the toys are made of fabric like stuffed animals and they are not too big to put in the washer, believe it or not they can be washed! Small to medium stuffed animals can be put in a pillow case tie the pillow case in a knot at the end . Then put washer setting at gentle wash when done washing take and put in dryer in pillow case. So when they are finished drying take out of the dryer and the stuff animals are like brand new .Not matted or clumped up . Fluffy and perfect, always.

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