August 11, 2022

I have always fought with the idea of weather to stay home from work when sick. Some companies are very progressive with this and others not so much. In my workplace it is expected that if you are sick you stay home and if you are well enough to work but nervous about getting people sick then you just telecommute (freedom of being an IT guy)

To help you decide, Sharon Horesh, MD, instructor of clinical medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, gives her advice.

Just keep this in mind: “There’s no antibiotic that can get rid of the common cold or flu or stomach virus,” says Horesh . “That’s my pet peeve … antibiotics only work with a bacterial infection … bacterial bronchitis, pneumonia, strep throat, earache, pink eye.”

Also, be careful about which medications you take for the common cold, says Nathan Segall, MD, a private practice allergy specialist in Atlanta.

The overwhelming majority reach for over-the-counter antihistamines, he says. But beware: Even if it’s a so-called “non-sedating antihistamine” it could cause sleepiness and mental fogging, says Segall. “Some individuals will be more likely to have these side effects than others will.”

So the best thing to do with Flu season coming is to make a decision between your coworkers. No one wants to get sick, no one wants to be seen as dogging it and at the same time any abuse of sick time puts pressure on everyone to be at work, no matter how sick they are.

Set a meeting and have the following agenda.

1. When do you decide on sick time?

2. How sick is sick enough to stay home?

3. Are you expected to get certain work deliverables done from home?

4. Set a next step meeting to decide if things are going well or if there are abuses

This kind of idea is great in small workplaces. We are all aware of how you can be sick one day and the next week everyone has caught your cold or flu. Make sure that your workplace has lots of antibacterial stuff and lots of hand washing areas and also be sure to keep your kitchen area, if you have one, clean all of the time.

This kind of planning can radically affect your health this winter as we are all shut in indoors and can not get ourdoors often enough.

2 thoughts on “Should a cold keep you home?

  1. There is a virus going round that causes cold symptoms that seem to get somewhat better then it starts all over again. It started for me with a scratchy throat, then head cold symptoms followed by upper respirator inflammation and cough. It will get better to the point that the cough seems to be almost gone, then will start up again with sneezing and runny nose, of just a sudden worsening of respiratory symptoms.

    I see lots of people are writing with similar viral symptoms and are getting z-pack antibiotic treatments and other antibiotic therapies that can’t possibly help with the virus but can make things much worse for all of us in the long run. Why do doctors buckle and prescribe powerful antibiotics for viral infections? I understand some people have secondary (bacterial) infections, but many would be better treated early on with saline rinses and such. Or with first-line antibiotics.

    This is a nasty virus, and unless someone comes up with a specific immune booster to kick it, the thing will just have to run its multi-multi-week couse. I am on week 5 and just had the sneezing fits again and the cough has deepened. I could go to the doctor but that will only lighten my wallet and risk additional viral exposure while there. I have been able to avoid bacterial secondary infection with salt water rinses, that seems to be all I can do. I haven’t been sick in well over a year, but this one is wicked.

    Staying home from work for over a month or more would have been a career limiting decision, for sure.

  2. I think when we are getting cold we should stay inside our home because when we are exposing our body in wind we might get fever which will make a combination of both cold and fever and it will make our body so tired. We should not take medicine without the prescription of doctor as it might get allergies. Important things while getting cold is that we should make ourselves need and clean and even our surrounding like kitchen in order to maintain a good health.

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