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Thank you for the flu – please do not do that again

By Paul Costigan - 4 October 2017 11

Canberra flu

This post is a way of sending a message from myself – and probably from many others who suffered through the flu recently – out to those very caring and thoughtful people who insisted on going out into public areas when they had the flu.

My journey into illness most likely started when I attended a speaker night in August. As the speaker was about to start, someone sat behind us and then started to cough something horrible.

My guess is – if I was right in judging her condition – that there is probably a whole group of 20 or more people who were sitting near her who can now thank her – given that it is most likely that they consequently developed a very serious flu.

For anyone out there who managed to avoid this flu, I can assure you it was nasty – and it did not stop with just one infection. This nasty thing hit you suddenly (Friday morning all good – Friday afternoon in bed shivering), days later you got better, then when you were starting to relax, it mutated into something else. And if you were really unlucky, as was I, it then repeated this again.

Thanks to that person behind me who was coughing, I have had on and off, five weeks of this thing.

Before you ask – yes I had flu vaccinations back in April. Sadly, this one is new and has mutated so quickly – and continues to do so, that makers of vaccinations have not been able to keep up.

My message to anyone who hears anyone with a serious cough in a public space: Run! Don’t talk to the person – just get the hell out of there.

As I explained to a friend who is now very cautious about catching this thing – you also have to be very careful when you go shopping. It is possible that someone before you coughed into their hands and then picked up a shopping basket – possibly the one you are now carrying. If so, your luck may be about to change.

In theory at least, such a vicious flu virus does not spread by itself. It takes someone to be in denial or wanting to be generous to share for this type of flu to spread.

That is, if everyone who was captured by this flu bug stayed home, then that would have been the end of it. No vaccinations required – if anyone who got it stayed away from everyone else.

Alas, that would take a change of culture and habits of a society that still has not learnt the lessons that are taught every couple of years or so when another of these nasty virus things gets spread around the world.

So to finish – thank you to all those thoughtful people who knew they had this flu, but felt they needed to go to work, go shopping, go to events and by their actions made the decision to share their flu.

Thank you for sharing  – please do not do that again.

Have you experienced the flu courtesy of those generous people who felt the need to share their germs? Why don’t people just stay home when they are sick? Let us know about your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

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11 Responses to
Thank you for the flu – please do not do that again
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dungfungus 10:57 pm 10 Oct 17

carnardly said :

dungfungus – i don’t drink coffee so don’t spend unnecessary money there. i also ride my bike to work so don’t spend money there. yes – one of those scum that doesn’t hold you up on the road while you’re driving your car to work each day.

Please dont think i’m wasting money on frivolities. some of us don’t/can’t afford to do that and every dollar is important.

until i get to a medicare office and submit a claim (bit difficult with my working hours and location) i don’t have that SPARE money to pay again upfront.

if you need 2 weeks off becuase you’re legitimately sick, it may take upwards of 3 visits.. I have to make a judgement call on whether i can AFFORD to go to the doctor simply to get that certificate.

Sorry about assuming you were a coffee drinker. There are so many threads on RiotAct about coffee I thought everyone in Canberra drank buckets of the stuff. I prefer instant coffee any day.

I don’t think any cyclists are scum and I always give way to them whether they have it or they take it anyway.

Re the Medicare rebate, it can be claimed at the doctor’s surgery when you pay the bill so you only pay the net amount. Perhaps your doctor doesn’t have a computer? If for some other reason he doesn’t have the service available you can claim the rebate online yourself or download the form and mail it in. Too easy.

carnardly 8:48 pm 10 Oct 17

dungfungus – i don’t drink coffee so don’t spend unnecessary money there. i also ride my bike to work so don’t spend money there. yes – one of those scum that doesn’t hold you up on the road while you’re driving your car to work each day. Please dont think i’m wasting money on frivolities. some of us don’t/can’t afford to do that and every dollar is important.

until i get to a medicare office and submit a claim (bit difficult with my working hours and location) i don’t have that SPARE money to pay again upfront. if you need 2 weeks off becuase you’re legitimately sick, it may take upwards of 3 visits.. I have to make a judgement call on whether i can AFFORD to go to the doctor simply to get that certificate.

dungfungus 5:56 pm 09 Oct 17

carnardly said :

each time i’ve ever been crook the doc has only given me the day i present plus two more days off.

3 days. that visit has cost me $80 or so.

After the 3 days dated on the certificate i’m back at work whether i’m better, the same or worse. For many people simply coughing up (boom tish) another $80 or so to go back to a doctor for ANOTHER certificate is a dealbreaker if they don’t have a health care card.

More opportunities for bulk billing will reduce the spread of plagues in a workplace as people who are genuinely sick will be able to access a doctor again, get a repeat certificate and stay away.

Either that, or doctors perhaps could give a week if we appear genuinely crook.

But while the standard issue seems to be 3 days max, some families simply can’t afford to be going back to the docs for what could be 2 x visits a week for potentially 3 or 4 weeks. I know we can’t.

Why aren’t you claiming the Medicare Benefit against the consultation fee which is $37.05? That would leave you “out of pocket” about $40.00 which would be less that what you probably spend on travel to work and coffee for three days.

gazket 8:01 pm 08 Oct 17

the AMA are hypocrites .

They say stay at home if you have the flu .

Meanwhile the airports are pumping in hundreds of different flu cases from overseas every day. Oh you poor international traveler, you look sick come in and mingle with the Australian public and spread that flu around.

carnardly 5:01 pm 07 Oct 17

each time i’ve ever been crook the doc has only given me the day i present plus two more days off. 3 days. that visit has cost me $80 or so. After the 3 days dated on the certificate i’m back at work whether i’m better, the same or worse. For many people simply coughing up (boom tish) another $80 or so to go back to a doctor for ANOTHER certificate is a dealbreaker if they don’t have a health care card.

More opportunities for bulk billing will reduce the spread of plagues in a workplace as people who are genuinely sick will be able to access a doctor again, get a repeat certificate and stay away. Either that, or doctors perhaps could give a week if we appear genuinely crook.

But while the standard issue seems to be 3 days max, some families simply can’t afford to be going back to the docs for what could be 2 x visits a week for potentially 3 or 4 weeks. I know we can’t.

slickrickulous 6:15 pm 05 Oct 17

Since people can be contagious and not yet have any symptoms, it’s really not possible to completely eliminate the spread of flu.

That being said, the best way to reduce your chances of catching or transmitting the flu is to maintain a high level of hygiene, ideally always, but especially during flu season. That means keeping your hands away from your face, washing your hands regularly, carrying some antibacterial wipes with you and keeping healthy, well-rested and hydrated.

And if you are sick but can’t stay home, wear a face mask. Those masks are more effective at preventing your cough from being ejected across the entire office than your hand, your sleeve, or a hanky. You might get some stares or be the butt of a few jokes, but everyone will be grateful that you are taking some measures to protect them from your infection.

Maya123 2:17 pm 05 Oct 17

JessP said :

or the paper you picked up or the trolley you used.

A source like that is probably the most likely cause.

JessP 1:32 pm 05 Oct 17

Whilst I agree with the sentiment, this can be problematic when you work in an office which doesn’t want you to spread the bug but wants you back asap. When is it ok to come back? How long are we infectious?

After 2 weeks off a workmate has returned but with a coughs that sounds dreadful. He says he feels ‘better’ and the Doctor has given clearance for a return to work. How do we know he is ok to be here? Given how he sounds…I think not, but with a Doctors clearance?

Your hacky horrible cough person is probably the person who gave you the flu. Probably. Or maybe it was that person you passed on the street who was in the early stages and didn’t look sick right now, or the paper you picked up or the trolley you used. Who knows for sure??

bigred 3:10 pm 04 Oct 17

Having ended up in TCH ICU with some cardiac problems and dangerously low blood pressure as a direct result of a previous flu outbreak I support your view. People need to ‘bed it, not spread it’

Maya123 12:55 pm 04 Oct 17

Even when one works in a place that asks people to stay at home when they have an infectious illness, or have been in contact with an infectious illness and have been quarantined to to stay home, there are some non-caring people who still insist on coming to work sick, or with the potential to spread illness. On one occasion it took a senior management person to come down and order an offender in no uncertain terms to go home, stay there, and don’t come back until they are cleared. This was after they were placed in home quarantine due to overseas travel. But hey, they were feeling too well to stay at home, so they left the requested quarantine and came to work.
One other worker was so upset by their presence at work, she herself went home immediately in tears. But obviously the offender thought nothing of the consequences, and did they really care? The worst part for them was likely being ordered home in front of co-workers.

bronal 10:34 am 04 Oct 17

I wonder how much ‘flu has been caused by ‘presenteeism’ or bullying people to come to work when they are not not well enough to do so.

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