Sicklet, stay at home.

by | Jul 18, 2016 | Family Health, Seasonal health | 2 comments

I published a version of this post a couple of years ago, but it warrants a rerun; as it’s snot-ridden, cough-laden cold and flu season. Again! And I’m seeing the same thing now as I did then. It’s seasonal, I suppose.


This time of year results in a lot of the following: sick people. In clinics, yes, which is where I used to see most of them. That’s to be expected. But. Everywhere else too… at the shops, on public transport, in offices and schools, at the movies… bloody everywhere! Everywhere, that is, except where they should be, which is at home convalescing. Preferably in bed.

My friends, when you are sick, STAY AT HOME. You will not get better – or it will take you much longer to do so – if you do not allow yourself the time to heal. Seriously, no heroics necessary. You are not a hero if you come to work when you’re ill and infectious. You are annoying and inconsiderate. When it comes to contagion, sharing is most certainly not caring.

Ideally, you are practicing preventative health – eat well, drink fluids, get sunshine, move regularly, sleep enough, etc. Even better if you can take things to boost your immune function when you know you’re ‘at risk’ of picking something up. For example, I used to work in a busy medical clinic where I was constantly exposed to people with all sorts of infectious (and non-infectious) conditions. Apart from eating well and upping my intake of immune boosting foods, I also took a regular dose of zinc, vitamin C and vitamin D (my levels were always low) plus a herbal immune tonic. Sometimes, however, I still caught a bug. It happens to all of us. And when I did? I chose not to inflict it on my co-commuters, colleagues and – importantly for me – patients. I rested, I recovered quickly and I returned to work. From my observation of of the population, however, it seems that this is not usual practice.

Something I find infuriating – and that you see a lot of at this time of year – is the number of advertisements selling quick-fixes for colds and flus. It’s an expectation that, regardless of illness, we’ll push through. Pop a pill to mask symptoms of said illness and, to borrow a catch phrase, soldier on. Dudes, that is total bullsh*t! Why soldier on? To prove you’re tough, that you’re really committed to your job? So you can deliver a sub-par quality of work because your head is clogged and energy in your boots? Or is it so you can spread the germs around? Give me a break.

Listen, if you are starting to get a tickle in your throat and your head is heavy or nose blocked… honestly, have a hot shower, put on clean pyjamas, get into bed and have a decent sleep. Or, talk to someone like me about how to intervene before you’re properly ill. And if you are properly ill, by all means visit your practitioner at their place of work, but please stay away from your own.

*Gets off soapbox*