Flu Etiquette Poll

Sickness seems to be rampant this year, at least in these here parts.  So, I thought a little poll-taking would be fun, just to see how much we all care about our fellow-man. It’s quick, it’s easy, and there’s no judgement.  Unless I disagree with your answer.

Here we go.  A couple of hypotheticals.

Strictly Hypothetical.

1.) You are on vacation.  Four days into your sunshine and bliss, you come down with the flu.  Surely caught from another Germy Influenzite within the stuffy confines of the aircraft on your way to aforementioned sunny and blissful destination.   The night before your scheduled departure to Coldville (your home-town), the thought of getting two children up at 5 a.m. to get them on a plane as you, yourself struggle to stop the room from being a simulated Gravitron ride feels impossible.  But, personal nausea aside, you are most certainly not germ-free and are quite possibly a walking flu missile.  Do you:

A.) Pay the $1200 in change fees to spare your fellow passengers (but continue to infect your in-laws with whom you are staying).

B.) Suffer through the torture, and get everyone home to their own beds and say a prayer for all those innocents flying North along with your toxicity.

C.) Find another solution that will make me feel stupid that I did not think of it myself.


2.) Once home, your spouse must work, leaving you to care for two small children in your pathetic sickly state.  Do you:

A.) Call a babysitter to come help, risking her health

B.) Beg a family member to come help, also risking their health

C.) Suffer through it and  actually sob to your three-year old and two-year old, begging them to go easy on you as they stare, utterly confused.



20 responses to “Flu Etiquette Poll

  1. The fact that the airline CHOSE for you to infect the rest of its paying passengers, after you explained to them that you had the flu, speaks directly to the character of the airline you traveled! They should have offered you, AND your family, a different flight, at no further cost, to spare the health of all their other paying clients! There is a terrible disconnect between revenue and character these days, and that airline holds the blame for you having to make that decision. $1200.00 to your family of four is a great amount. To ME, it is a mortgage payment. To them, it was a simple click of a button! Shame on them! Having survived the flu a week earlier, I can’t imagine callously disregarding the potential dangers to the hundred or so others on that plane because “rules is rules!” Which airline did you travel? You should forward them this response, as well as all the rest that are sure to come in!

    • Right. But then couldn’t anyone just call the airline and say they have the flu to extend their vacation? Airlines used to offer bereavement flights with no death certificate until people started lying about that.

  2. You should send this one to the Ombudsman at Conde Nast Traveller and to Randy Cohen, The Ethicist in the NY Times.

  3. 1. A
    2. Please see above answer for number 1

  4. Move to Germany, where if your sick on your holiday you get those days back. Then get reimbursed by your travel insurance on having to change your days… Something is very wrong with the American system. Hope you were able to work it out… I feel your pain having been there myself!

  5. You should not change your flight at that cost….get some masks for the flight if you are genuinely concerned with the welfare of the other passengers…get home to your bed at no extra cost. and if someone offers to come help you do not turn it down…..if they do not, or cannot, put on a show for the kiddos, let them play on the ipad, do whatever it takes to stay put and quiet while mommy rests in bed or on couch, then do whatever needs to be done…if I was there i’d take the kiddos for you, atleast for a couple of hours.

  6. I’d try to get the airline to change our flights free of charge. If they wouldn’t, I’d make sure I got the name of the moron that turned me down. Then I’d get a nice supply of masks for myself and wear them the whole time. As people repeatedly asked me why I was wearing the mask, I’d calmly explain that I suspected I had the flu, had tried to change flights but that my family couldn’t afford the extortion fee the airline was trying to extort from us. Lastly, I’d offer up the name and number of the moron that had refused us to any other passenger that wanted it so they could acll and complain to.

    I despise asking for help so I’d probably just suffer home alone with the kids hoping theu didn’t burnt he place down.

  7. Because I am, at heart and by profession, a medical person, I would first of all try to get some medical input and possibly some anti-flu meds. (Did you get your flu shot?…. Neither Jamie not Ian did and he got sick..) If there is pneumonia, then the trip has to be re-scheduled somehow.
    Then, I like all of anonymous’ suggestions. Masks, names, see if someone will take the kids when you get home. Usually, family is more willing to risk the germs, especially if they DID get their flu shots. I would worry that a severely ill mom would not be able to provide the intensity of care those two and three year olds need. If something happened, a sick mom would never forgive herself.

    • Nope. No shot this year. I never used to get it and never got the flu. They make you get it when you’re pregnant and when you have a baby but I just didn’t this year. No particular reason why. The kids got theirs thankfully. All is well now. I’m sorry to her that Jaime is now sick. 😦

  8. Oh man. You just can’t win in that situation. #1 – I probably would’ve flown if my spouse was along to do all the kid wrangling. Then again if I truly felt like death I cannot imagine a worse place to be than an airplane. Awful. #2 I was in the same boat and was going to call a sitter if my husband hadn’t been able to stay home.
    Once my husband and I were both violently ill and our amazing neighbor took our kid, fed her dinner, put her in pjs, and returned her at bedtime. Sometimes I think we were crazy to ever move. A trusty neighbor is priceless when you have kids. Hope you are germ free!

  9. B.
    Done both, and my brain on sleep deprivation plus illness is not logical.
    Plus, screw logic. Even if the world stops, I’m still sick. So proceed as necessary, hang on for dear life, and hope there is a tomorrow.

  10. Just reading the comments, I suspect that other people have not been totally on their own for seven years with small children.
    Where are all these people getting their support structures, and how can I get some of this?

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