Things I’ve discovered in the last twenty four hours: it’s a really bad idea to fly with an ear infection, and it might turn you into a zombie.
As in, my ears are still doing weird poppy things, I was zonked by the time I walked off the plane, and I spent most of yesterday, after landing, asleep. Right now I’m on my second cup of tea, and I’ve not yet decided if I’ll stay awake most of the day. The goal, of course, is to rest enough that I can teach the workshop this weekend without killing myself. (Or eating my students’ brains.)
Mind you I am medicated and according to my doctor it’s not a virus, so I should not make anyone sick. I just caution anyone attending to find shelter if I start muttering “brainz… brainz.”
Which brings us to a topic we’ve covered before but which can never be covered enough: How do you cope with physical weakness when your “job” is as much vocation as a way of paying the bills? When the one thing you want to do when you start feeling better is the work? And yet the work still takes it out of you?
I don’t know.
What I do know is that, as a society, we’ve become very cavalier about illness.
I meant think back on Jane Austen’s work. In Pride and Prejudice, Jane catches a “trifling little cold” and is laid up for days.
Nowadays she’d take Sudafed and go on about her daily work.
Which brings me to – are we increasing contagion because we don’t take these things seriously, anymore? I start getting sick the moment the kids go back to school. That’s because people go to school while sick, because school doesn’t make allowances for sickness – yes, sure, you can skip classes, but for instance older son says there are no provisions for grading skipped labs. And younger son dragged himself in to take midterms on a serious sinus infection.
And of course, they bring stuff home, and I tend to catch it more severely than they do, partly, I THINK because I’m more isolated, most of the time.
We have medicines that mask the symptoms enough we can function, and, of course, we have antibiotics.
Only our antibiotics are becoming less effective.
What do we do?
There are thing I don’t know, like “Is it really bad for your to stay in bed that long? Is it really better to be up and moving around as soon as you can?” Or is this just what we tell ourselves because it fits our societal notions, and because our jobs/school/etc. no longer have any “give”.
I laugh everytime I read about the flu lasting “three weeks.” Do you know anyone who can take that kind of time off? And that’s a virus, and antibiotics won’t work.
What occurs to me – and it might be induced by stuffed ears and a feeling like I need to sleep rather a lot – is that we have the technology – we can make it better! – to not force people into the office while not quite the thing. (Except for my boss. I work for myself, the boss is a stone cold b*tch.)
And what further occurs to me is that as antibiotics stop working it will take a while for societal modes to change.
So… how many people are we going to lose when either the first really bad virus (bird flu?) or the first bad bacterial infection rip through the population, while everyone is still obediently dragging themselves in to work?
Wouldn’t it be a better thing to start telecommuting and giving people some room now?
Do you want to be the first person to die for some student’s perfect attendance?