Stomach viruses are tricky. 1. They’re gross and no one wants the details. People give you sympathetic looks but really they’re just thinking, “oh god, that’s disgusting and I don’t want this to happen to me.” 2. They always sound like a convenient excuse to get out of something. Birthday party for your cousin? Can’t go, I have food poisoning because I don’t want to hear about how great she is because she’s in law school.
However, as I spent the handful of conscious hours attempting to do work from home, I thought a lot about being sick as an adult, versus being sick as a kid.
Pro: Stomach viruses are a great way to get out of going to work. As I stated above, when you say you have a stomach flu, people tend to believe you, so you can skip work for the day. Finally, you might use a sick day because you are actually sick.
Con: Work will pile up at your desk, and you will spend the next week wishing you had just gone to work. Seriously, was this really worth it?
Pro: You might get to catch up on TV or sleep.
Con: With the work pile-up, it might be the last time you watch TV or sleep, so enjoy it while it lasts.
Pro: You don’t have to exaggerate your symptoms to convince your very skeptical nurse Mom like you did in middle school. If you feel too sick, you are too sick.
Con: You have to take care of yourself. You’ll have to muster up every last bit of energy to heat that can of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup that you stole from your roommate, because it hurts too much to walk to the corner store. It will also be nowhere as good as your mom’s soup.
Pro: Your roommates might take pity on you and pick up some Saltines and some Ginger Ale.
Con: You owe them one. There is no such thing as a free lunch, even if that lunch is Gatorade and crackers, which is a pretty disappointing lunch, regardless of price.
Con: As a young professional woman, any stomach issues are immediately assumed to be a sign of pregnancy. Brace yourself for inappropriate and invasive questions, or just be as evasive as possible when asked why you were out sick.
Pro: There are no pros to this. Society is terrible.
As the winter cold and flu season wreaks havoc on your body and immune system, and you’re trying to focus long enough to even find the NyQuil, remember there are serious pros and cons to the staying home sick. Choose carefully, and remember, over the counter medicine-induced comas are fleeting, and adult life will catch up to you sooner rather than later.