Letter from the Opinion Editor: Stay home if you’re sick

Editorial Board

I should have stayed home today. Were I not solely in charge of editing these wonderful opinions, I’d have spent the day hating life from the comfort of my cozy Tempur-pedic bed.

Instead, I’ve holed up under the opinion desk with my trusty sleeping bag, some Halls cough drops and a comical amount of chicken soup that seems hell-bent on leaving my system in a much more expeditious fashion than when it entered.

I’m a bad example. I can promise you that more than a few of my former microbiology professors are reading this, saying I should know better, and they’re absolutely right.

I’m very sorry, Dr. Joan Cunnick.

Please, allow me the next few paragraphs of pontification and condescension to justify the, “Do as I say” adage:

First, some of you are just downright filthy. For the love of all that is holy, do not cough into your hand.

There are two acceptable alternatives to this practice: pull your shirt collar forward then cough downward, or cough into your elbow.

Why? Because you’re not touching every damn thing on this campus with your elbow, that’s why.

Kudos to those at least bothering to cover their coughs. If you’re content to let your disease aerosolize throughout the classrooms and corridors of this fine institution then, on behalf of everyone in my condition, I think I hate you right now.

Wash your hands like a lunatic. This is something that escapes most of my gender. Thank goodness for women carrying around hand sanitizers in their purses – use that stuff religiously, ladies.

Honestly, if you’re that sick, you can afford to miss class. If there’s a professor on this campus that’s apathetic toward that notion, please, let us know about it. Lord knows I don’t find enough people to holler at in a given week. The doctor’s note is a pipe dream, especially if you’ve got the flu. There’s nothing your doctor can do, and odds are Thielen Health Center can’t see you before it has run its course.

Viruses — the cold, the flu — are nasty little buggers, and treatments are designed to mitigate the symptoms, not the disease itself. That’s what your immune system is for.

Bacteria can pose a much bigger problem, especially nasty stuff like strep or staph.

But don’t be the hypochondriac begging for a Z-pack at the first signs of symptoms. Some bacteria have already found ways to evolve beyond the efficacy of our first-line antibiotics, and many microbiologists suspect it’s due to the abundance of antibiotic soaps and overzealous prescription-writing.

If that doesn’t scare you, Google “New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase.”

Stay home. Eat soup. Drink NyQuil. Don’t come to school.