Stay home from work if you’re sick: Yeah, right

Photo Credit: Peshkova/iStock Photo

The obvious solution to limit the spread of the coronavirus – OK, any virus, including the common cold, the flu – is for people to stay home from work when they’re sick.

The CDC is reinforcing that message in its recommendations related to the coronavirus.

Just the one problem: three in 10 workers don’t get paid sick time, because America, right to work, that nonsense.

Labor laws that benefit employers at the expense of workers make us unique in the industrialized world, and not in a good way.

The bulk of the people who don’t get paid sick time are – wait for it, wait for it – wait staff, sales clerks, baristas.

Yeah. The people who serve you food, serve your coffee, take your money when you’re shopping.

They can’t afford to take time off, so, they go to work when they’re sick.

And then we interact with them.

This is what we consider being business-friendly here in the good ol’ US of A.

We’re too cheap to provide even basic protections for employees in the service industry, and as a result, we make our country a petri dish for the spread of disease.

And this isn’t even accounting for how we have a healthcare system that is also tilted toward the profiteers, leaving 28 million Americans without health insurance, and tens of millions more with coverage that they really can’t afford to use, beginning with high deductibles, and extending into the various arcane rules and policies cited by insurers to pass costs back to policyholders.

So, three in 10 of us don’t have sick time, 28 million of us lack health insurance, millions more can’t afford to go to the doctor even with insurance.

Forget the coronavirus: did you know that 61,000 Americans died from the flu in the 2017-2018 flu season?

Do you have a better understanding now as to how that can happen?

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press news