When You Should Just Stay Home

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When you should just stay home


We’ve all been there—you wake up, feel miserable and instantly start the internal debate of whether you should call in sick or just suck it up and go to work.

A good general rule of thumb is that if you have a fever, particularly one greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, you should stay home. A fever is not only a sign that you’re sick, but also a good indication that whatever you have is a contagious condition.

Maybe you can’t afford to stay home, either because you don’t have the time off or you feel that too much work will pile up in your absence. These are important considerations, but there are times where you really should just stay home—not only for your own benefit, but for the benefit of those around you.

If you really can’t miss any work though, here are some other helpful tips that may help keep you and others protected from further illness:

  • Ask your boss if there is any work you can do from home. This largely depends on what type of job you have, but if there is something that you can help with—even if it’s not in your regular responsibilities—you may be able to get credit for working without going in.
  • Determine if there’s an alternative location you can work from that day. If you work in an office, maybe there is a spare office that is further removed from the rest of the group. If you work in retail, maybe there is some work that can be done in the storeroom or another isolated part of the store.
  • Consider wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth. It may sound a little goofy at first, but germs spread much easier than you may think. The flu can actually spread through the droplets in the air just when the sick person is talking. Face masks are easy to find at any pharmacy and can help keep germs contained.
  • Keep yourself and your area as clean as possible. If you cough or sneeze, make sure you cover your nose and mouth. Wash or sanitize your hands immediately afterward. When touching hard surfaces, especially common ones like doorknobs or telephones, use a disinfectant wipe to clean them after use.
  • If you haven’t already, make time to go to the doctor. Even if you can’t get away during the workday, many doctors’ offices offer extended hours and some urgent care centers are even open 24 hours a day. The sooner you can find out what you have and begin treatment, the sooner you can get back to normal.

While the winter months are known for bringing about all types of illnesses, the flu is of particular concern in our community this year. For more information about the flu and how you can help keep yourself and others healthy, please visit ololrmc.com/flu.

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