COVID-19 Alerts

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Feeling sick, going to tough it out? Think again, please!

When the first reports concerning the spread of the Coronavirus in Wuhan, China hit the storylines back in December 2019, the consensus was, keep it over there and I’ll stay over here. For the next month or so, the epidemic in Asia was news to keep an eye on but nothing for us to be concerned about in North America.

Recently, multiple cases of the virus have been reported throughout the United States and the latest reports have confirmed 2 deaths in Kirkland, Washington. With cases now occurring in Northern California, it literally hits close to home and as the kids would say, “It’s gettin’ real!”. Well, they might put it a different way, but you know what I mean.

This virus is quickly moving from epidemic to pandemic and has caused numerous businesses around the world to change how they perform. Conferences are being cancelled and business trips to known areas with a high rate of infections are now turning to Skype to close that deal. So, what about locally, is there concern and have businesses put in place procedures for employees to follow in the event of an illness? Not just the high profile virus’, but the flu bug and common cold are also easily spread if not treated with care at home or in a medical facility.

We’ve all been there, waking up in the morning and feeling like death warmed in misery, and trying to trudge through the day to get a paycheck. I’ve been a part of the workforce since the Nixon administration and I have never had an HR Director or Supervisor come to me and tell me the company policy is for me to stay home if I was sick. Most will either turn, or even run, the other way and “suggest” you should go home. Having a policy in place to deal with illness in the workforce would seem to be essential to the health and safety of co-workers and their families, not to mention, customers and clients.

I am not advocating another of those foolish bills that California politicians spit out like sunflower seeds at a baseball game. How about just common sense from both businesses and employees to protect everyone in the workplace and insist that if you’re sick, stay home. I recently read a post on social media where a restaurant worker said to wish them luck as they woke up feeling awful but were going to try and get through the day. I made a sandwich at home that day.

One last note before my soapbox topples over, I have come across an amazing amount of people who are just not very good at taking care of themselves. Simple things like good nutrition and hydration will go far to help fend off nasty bugs that can cripple a business workforce and spread through a family. It just makes sense for businesses to communicate the benefits of good nutrition and what it means to the employee and their place within the business.

Growing up, I was told to “Tough it out, and suck it up cupcake!”. That may not have been the best advice.