Manners Matter: Why Do People Go Out When They’re Sick?


Dear Mary Pat,

We had our annual NYE party and a lot of our good friends and family attended as they usually do. My only complaint is that my cousin showed up with her husband and they were both really sick. Never ones to miss a celebration, they said they couldn’t bear the thought of staying home when all of us were getting together. They realized that they weren’t up for it around 7:30 pm and went home, leaving only their virus behind. My husband is now running a fever and I’m also getting sick. Why do people go out when they are sick? It’s so unfair to everyone else. I didn’t think it would be polite to turn them away at the door, but in hindsight maybe I should have.



Down with the Flu

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.



Dear Down with the Flu,


It is very inconsiderate to go out into public when sick. Obviously, there are times when it cannot be avoided. A New Year’s Eve party does not qualify as a good reason to be out when sick. I’m all for sharing except when it comes to germs.

Here are a couple of tips for preventing getting others sick:

  1. When you are coughing or sneezing, do so into the inside of your elbow (i.e. the cough catcher), not on your hands.
  2. Keep away from others as much as you can. No parties, no play dates, no gym, no work, no errands, etc. until you are better.
  3. Wash your hands frequently and for a long enough time. Sing “Happy Birthday” twice and then you know you’ve washed your hands long enough to get rid of the germs.
  4. Stay home – in bed – until you are better.


Good luck,

Mary Pat


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