The good news is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides up to two weeks of emergency paid sick leave.
The bad news is it ends September 30th.
I guess Covid didn't get the memo. Infect everyone you want before the end of September please!
So after tomorrow, I will have to use my saved PTO. The PTO I've been saving for our trip in November to see Genesis (though honestly at the moment going to another concert isn't high on my wish list but tickets have been purchased). Or for additional wedding planning trips between now and next fall. Or even for the wedding.
And if I am struggling with this, what about all the men and women that are living paycheck to paycheck? Do you think they have the luxury of staying home until they feel better?
I spent 10 minutes at my desk and my tshirt was soaked with the exertion it took. But I'm sure I'll be fine to go back to work on Friday. My doctor says not until October 5th but I'm not sure if I can afford that.
The good news is I may qualify for short term disability depending on how long I am out. I still need to research that but I'm fairly certain I have to use all my available vacation time first before qualifying. Which is what I am actively trying to avoid.
So most likely I will force myself back to work too soon - which at least I am fortunate enough to work from home so I won't risk infecting others. I'll just be risking my own health.
This is why we can't get back to normal. Not being able to take the time we need to get well forces us into the mainstream too soon and continues to spread the virus.
I understand the concern that people would take advantage of unlimited paid time off. Need to see copies of my blood oxygen reports? My temperature log? Should I get retested every few days to prove I am sick? Done. Is that an invasion of my privacy? Yes. But I have nothing to hide.
Everything I do right now takes an immense amount of energy. Right now my oxygen level has dipped below 90 just because I sat up and walked over to the computer for a minute. In case that means nothing to you, my doctor told me to go to the ER if my rate dropped below 95. Since I know I can get it back up by laying down and resting for a few minutes I am not currently concerned. But also, this is literally from sitting up for 10 minutes. But sure, I'll be fine for an 8 hour work day in a day or two.
And maybe I will be fine. After all, I am vaccinated. Hopefully this is just a minor case and tomorrow I will wake up feeling fine. Feels unlikely. But it came on fast so maybe there's hope it will leave my body just as quickly.
I have a good job. I get nice benefits. And yet I am still struggling with this. I have the means to go to the doctor when I am sick and to stay home when I need to, even if it hurts a little. But so many Americans don't.
Why are we still ok with this?
How can we be so generous in times of immense tragedy (like 9/11) but so selfish when it comes to taking care of our daily health? How can we rally for people to help pay for a gofundme for medical or funeral expenses but not see that universal healthcare might alleviate that? If other countries can do it successfully, why can't we?
Why are we so selfish?
I know not all of us are. But unfortunately, enough of us are.