Not Down With The Sickness

I’m writing this blog post from the comfort of my wood-paneled 1950s ranch-style home, as opposed to the relative comfort of my wood-paneled construction-trailer-style office at Iron Horse Brewery. Why you ask? Because I’m sick. Nothing serious, just the common cold, but it’s the 3rd time in the past month I’ve had to stay home from work (a cold just before Thanksgiving, norovirus during Thanksgiving, and now another cold…ugh.)

This post has a couple of aims. First, I hope it will convince my fellow cousins at the brewery that I’m actually sick and working from home, and not just playing hooky to go snowboarding. The snow looks so good up at Mission Ridge right now that part of my primitive lizard brain is telling me to just go up there anyways, sickness and work be damned. But I won’t do that, for the same reason I won’t go into work today. I refuse to spread germs. I mean really, it’s almost Christmas. What kind of a jerk would I be to risk spreading illness around to others, right before they’re about to see their extended families? Remember when I mentioned getting norovirus at Thanksgiving? Well so did my wife Rikki and almost my entire family. And it was the worst. Thank God this wood-paneled 1950’s ranch-style home has 2 bathrooms, because they were definitely being used simultaneously by my wife and me. All because someone, somewhere didn’t take precautions to avoid getting others sick.

Which brings me to the second aim of this post. If you get sick, please do everything you can to not spread it. This concept is especially important to us at Iron Horse. After all, we make beer for you to drink. I personally prefer beer that is brewed and/or served by someone who is not sick. Hopefully you feel the same way. That’s why I’ve taken these pointers to heart, and you should too:

  • If you’re sick, stay home. Did you know that if you work in Washington you are almost certainly entitled to paid sick leave? For more information, read about it here. Even if you think you can tough it out and work through your illness, don’t, for the sake of your fellow employees. Go home and work remotely if you can, or just fire up some Netflix. I recommend this Ken Burns documentary on the Civil War, it’s like 11 hours long and it’s amazing.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes. Seriously, no one likes getting sprayed with your germs. Keep some tissues with you, or if you don’t have one handy, at least cough/sneeze into your elbow or upper sleeve, and not your hands. Better yet, if you must go out in public when you’re sick, wear a surgical mask. You may think it looks dorky, but others with think either A) you’re being considerate by not spreading your germs, or B) you’re a doctor who’s obviously heading into surgery soon and should be allowed to cut to the front of whatever line you’re in.
  • Wash your hands. Obviously soap and hot water are ideal, what’s most important is your technique. Ideally you should be scrubbing your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t want to count to 20, maybe recite the pledge of allegiance twice while scrubbing? I think that will eat up about 20 seconds, plus anyone nearby will know that you’re super patriotic.
  • Keep some hand sanitizer in your car, purse, backpack, desk, etc. It’s not as good as washing your hands, but it’s better than nothing. Also, don’t do this with it.
  • Be a tattletale. If one of your coworkers shows up sick, bring it up with whoever’s in charge and request that that person be sent home. Or just roast your coworker mercilessly until they leave on their own accord. But don’t be afraid to call someone out when they’re putting others at risk.

That’s all it takes people. An ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure. I’m pretty sure that’s a quote from either Ben Franklin, Winston Churchill, or Doogie Howser, M.D. I can’t remember (I’m sick right now, what do you want from me?). In any case, I hope you all have a happy, germ-free holiday season.

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