by MIA FREEDMAN
Baby it’s cold outside. Winter. Sniffles. Coughing. Illness. I have always been a bit germ-phobic but I get particularly snitty (not to be confused with snotty) about it at this time of year. Nobody likes being sick but after you have kids, it becomes a whole new level of punishing.
Not only do your kids not allow you to stay in bed and moan like the poor wounded animal you are, but invariably they catch it. So just when you rejoin the land of the healthy, they crash. And then you have to take MORE time off work to tend to them and make chicken soup. Or make it from a packet.
Sick people. Can I take a moment to send many many virtual germs to whoever came up with the ‘soldier on’ campaign for whatever form of cold and flu medication they were trying to sell. DO NOT SOLDIER ON, PEOPLE. STAND DOWN, SOLDIER & PUT YOUR GERMY WEAPONS AWAY.
At many workplaces and schools, there is a tradition of ‘sickies’. Pretending to be sick so you can have a day off. At Mamamia, we have something I have dubbed “healthies” – where sick people PRETEND to be healthy so they can come to work.
I know. It’s insanity.
My husband Jason and I are very strict about sick people staying at home. We insist upon it. If we hear a cough or a sneeze or a sniffle, our ears immediately prick up. Cough/sniff/sneeze multiple times and you are likely to get a red card and an order to go home. ‘Benched’ if I were to use sporting terminology.
So people pretend their sneezes are hayfever. People try to hide their coughs and their sniffles. They go into the kitchen or the bathroom to cough. Furtively. Just yesterday I was in the kitchen and someone rushed in, took one startled look at me and rushed out again. She needed to cough. BUT I HAVE SHARP HEARING AND I CAN HEAR YOUR SECRET COUGHING SO STOP IT AND GO HOME.