Avoiding sickness (mostly)

Seems like almost everyone around here is getting sick. Both Kellen and Tynor are going through round two, while Melody and I weren't sick for that long and haven't had any recurrence, at least not yet.

Illness is making its rounds both at UW and the Web Collective, not to mention at PSCS (Kellen and Tynor's school). You also hear lots of people coughing while walking down the street, riding the bus, and shopping in stores.

There's lots of advice out there on how to avoid getting sick. I do try to follow that advice, but when I get sick I'm most interested in making sure it goes away quickly. Fortunately, I don't get sick very often, but when I do the first things I do is to stay home from work, try to get lots of sleep, and drink lots of fluids. For medications, I'll stick to a decongestant or antihistamine at night (so I can sleep). I usually feel better after a couple days, but I often wait another day or so to make sure I'm better.

Before, I used to figure that if I'm not all that sick, I can probably still function normally. Sometimes I'd never get so sick that I'd need to stay home from work, and other times I'd eventually succumb to whatever it is and feel pretty bad for several days. Either way, it would take much longer for me to feel fully recovered compared to just taking a couple days off at the beginning.

I'm fortunate that the state allows me to accumulate sick days, so I don't have to worry about using them up. At HP employees get flexible time off, so you could use it for either sick days or vacation. Seems that some people counted on having the whole thing for vacation, so they would go into work when they were sick. Then again, at places which have separate sick leave, people also seem to work while sick whether it be due to deadlines or otherwise not wanting to take the time off.

When I'm home sick I'll often check email or do things here and there if I feel up to it. Even so, it still feels like a day off, especially since I'm able to rest when necessary.