But I know that can be easier said than done, especially when you’re on deadline or worried about job security (and who isn’t these days?). Plus, how can you tell if you are contagious, or whether going back to work will ultimately put you of commission even longer? So SELF went to the experts to find out when you should cry uncle and use one (or more) of your sick days. If any of these symptoms sound familiar, hunker down on the couch, dial up your favorite daytime TV show—and feel better soon!
You have a fever over 100 degrees. It could be the flu, which usually triggers a fever of 101 or 102 degrees. The flu comes on superfast, even overnight, and you often don’t see it coming—bad news for your coworkers and loved ones, because you can pass along the virus a full day before you have any symptoms. But even after the body aches and fatigue set in, you’re still contagious for a few more days, so stay in bed until your fever breaks. You’ll be too exhausted (and probably nauseous) to get anything done anyway, so why push it?
You’re a sneezing, runny-nosed mess (and it’s not allergies). The first few days after cold symptoms start is when you’re most likely to spread the bug. If you go in to work feeling under the weather, you could infect seven other people, research from the University of Arizona in Tucson finds. Quarantine yourself the first day or two, when you’re the dribbliest. And remember, while over-the-counter cold meds can make you feel functional during those first few days, you’re still sick, so don’t be tricked into overexerting yourself.
Read the rest here, but I'll go ahead and tell you: it's not exactly rocket science OR breaking news to learn that you ought to stay home when you're vomiting or can't walk, for example. The sad thing, though, is that in the comments below the piece a lot of people who don't have any sick leave and who will be fired for taking off a day of work chime in. While we're talking about health care in America, how about we consider the problem of low-wage workers being threatened with job loss for missing work when they are seriously ill?
Confession time: I've been sick since last Tuesday, which probably explains the higher level of muddle-headed thinking you may have noticed on this blog recently. It's nothing horrible--just one of those typical nasty cold virus things that are so common in the fall. Since I was running a low-grade fever on and off and coughing like a plague victim, I did stay home from Mass yesterday. I mention that only to remind my fellow Catholics that if anything on that list of "Five Times You Shouldn't Go to Work" is present on a Sunday morning, you might at least want to consider staying home from Mass--despite a common belief otherwise, it is not wimpy or sissy or liberal Vatican II namby-pamby felt bannerism to stay at home when you feel ill, or might make others sick, or both. If you do insist on going to Sunday Mass while sick, please at least read this "permapost" from Jimmy Akin which has some helpful suggestions.
In other words, use the same common sense you'd use to figure out if you should go to work or not to determine whether you should go to Mass or not; if you have a chronic or recurring illness, you might check with your pastor--but otherwise, it's not, as I said before, rocket science to figure out when you're too sick to be present at Mass.