Unclean, unclean

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

This has been the sickest winter I’ve ever experienced. And I don’t mean that in a good way.

I’ve been sick for three non-connective weeks this season. I went from flu to cold to strep. It’s not something I really enjoy except for one thing: I lost the five pounds I gained over the holidays and three more on top of that. That took me down to an impossibly svelte 227 pounds.

When I read sentences like that, for one miserable moment, I understand what is going on in bulimics’ and anorexics’ heads.

I’ve noticed during the last few years a change in attitude toward people who come to work suffering from contagious illness. It wasn’t five years ago that people were kind of looked down on when they called in sick. Back then, to call in sick was to be weak and not a team player.

Nowadays, it’s a little different. I came into the office on Friday to take a phone call I’d scheduled the day before. There was a disposable dust mask on my desk when I came in. I washed my hands twice while I was in the building, and I used my coat to turn the door knob. My co-workers were almost aggressive in their avoidance of me. After I’d gone to the doctor and was diagnosed with strep, I had to return to the office because I thought I lost my check card there. You’d have thought I had some kind of airborne syphilis. These days, you’re not a team player if you infect the whole team with 102 temperatures.

But the next day was when I realized attitudes had really changed. I was out of tuna for my lunch, and I told my son, Hunter, I was going to run to Albertson’s to pick some up.

“I thought you were sick,” he said. “I am.” “Well, then, why are you going to get everyone else sick, too?”

Do you think he learned that in school?

RTV No. 10: Someone you vote for could eventually legislate to get universal health care in this country.