I moved my son to virtual learning for this school year. While I don’t want to get into a debate about why I did that, I was laughing because I thought sick days and snow days would no longer exist. Similarly, they wouldn’t exist for people who work from home. While I may have been somewhat correct in the assumption, I was also wrong.
Today, our office policy is that if you have any symptoms of a cold, flu, or now Covid, you are not come into the office. If you have a sore throat, runny nose, or some sinus pressure, we now just work from home. Previously, we would “work through the pain” so to speak. For schools, if your child shows any symptoms, they must get a negative Covid test or quarantine for 14 days and be symptom free for 24 hours.
Now, as my kid is at home, he could get all the symptoms and still go to school. We could get all the snow and he would still go to school, or so I thought.
We discovered that if our school board declares a snow day and closes schools, that means virtual school is also “closed” for the day. To me that does not make any sense but if any of you have kids, then you know the whole “that’s not fair” argument. We must keep everything fair for the kids.
As a family recovering from Covid, I can 100% say for sure that when you are that sick, you cannot sit at your desk to work, or learn. I was fortunate enough that I took only 2 sick days from work as the majority of my symptoms ended up being over a weekend. The kid fared well too with 1 sick day. However, the one who is not able to work from home and brought the Covid into the house took 2 weeks off. That’s how long it has taken him to get better. I guess that serves him right for bringing it into the house.
While we can still work from home and school from home for most of our stuffy noses, there still is the need for sick days to really get better. If you are an employer, I feel that stressing with your employees that they need to take the time off to heal and rest when they need it most will only end up in a healthy employee doing their work and cutting down on any “mistakes” that could happen from exhaustion. For snow days, they no longer exist for my job, but that’s ok, it just means that I won’t get behind in my work.
So while we have eliminated the number sick days and snow days, we still really do need them in our working from home life.
Christine Allan, Law Clerk