Flu season continues to drag on. Despite preemptive measures, such as the flu shot, the flu continues to hospitalize and kill people.
Although we are told to not attend classes when we are contagious and sick, many of us still do.
Students are willing to endure high-temperature fevers and severe pain to not lose credit in an attendance-based class.
Students who push through their illness to attend class are putting those around them at risk of illness. Someone with a 100-degree fever can’t even focus entirely on class.
If a student misses a class, it can take a few days to catch up. However, the flu has been known to last four to five days. In severe cases, it can last for weeks.
There’s almost no chance that a student will be able to recover missing almost a week of classes without sleepless nights, which in turn could make them feel worse and prolong their illness.
Sick students also pose danger to those around them. Someone who is sick passes airborne particles when they speak. They pass germs when they touch a doorknob and a desk.
Students continue to get sick because they are consistently being re-exposed to it.
Students have a responsibility to their academics, but their priority should always be their health.
During such a deadly flu season, students who are sick should not have to come to class.
Professors accept absences in cases of extreme emergency, but for illnesses, they typically expect a doctor’s note.
Not all students choose to go to a doctor when they’re sick. Some students may choose to just rest and use over-the-counter drugs. Others may not have the choice of visiting a doctor.
Students can take advantage of the Student Health Center, however, not all of them do.
If there wasn’t such an immense amount of pressure on attendance in classes, then maybe the flu wouldn’t spread so quickly and for such a long time.
If all students were able to take the necessary amount of days needed to no longer be contagious, without fearing for a negative impact on grades, students and faculty would have a better chance of staying healthy.
Students should be allowed to prioritize their health over anything. The same goes for faculty.
We constantly forget that our faculty and staff interact with students and touch all the same surfaces that students do.
Although California has sick day laws, an employer can still limit an employee’s sick leave to three days per year.
Not everyone is willing to use all their sick days in one sitting. Some may want to save them in case of an emergency. Others may have already used their sick leave.
Employees aren’t always willing to lose a day of pay over the flu. Many of them will work through the pain.
This puts more people at risk of contracting the flu and prolonging its stay on campus.
We should prioritize our health and the health of others in order to keep our campus healthy.
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