Sick students should stay home

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The "TJ Plague" has been spreading around the school, getting students sick.

Sandy Cho

It all started during Spirit Week. There were a few innocuous coughs here and there but once the storm of Homecoming night passed, it seems like the “plague” has hit Jefferson.

In the hallways, students are coughing all over each other and speaking to their friends in raspy voices that are definitely not just from showing class pride at post-Homecoming pep rallies.

And it’s even worse during class. Numerous sneezes interrupt the teachers’ lectures as students try to sneak over to a box of tissues without garnering attention.

Even the front office took notice of our ailing student body last Friday and put up a comforting sign that said “Let’s get over this ‘TJ Plague’” next to the Friday Joke of the Day.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the common cold is extremely contagious and employees lose around 40 percent of time at work trying to recover.

If something this contagious is spreading around, why do many of us refuse to take an absence? With the intensive workload, is it still a good idea to stay at home?

Ideally, ill students should be staying home and getting rest. That is a policy allowed and even encouraged by the school. Unfortunately, it’s a well-known fact in the Jefferson community that, with so many rigorous classes scheduled every day, it’s hard for students to make up the resulting work.

When you’re sick, you’re caught in a trap. If you take an absence, you’re responsible to get all the homework, tests and lessons you’ve missed submitted and done on the day you get back, a feat that can seem near-impossible on top of the typical Jefferson student’s regular work load. On the other hand, if you try to brave a school day while feeling under the weather, you’re not only spreading the plague, but you’re also worsening the situation for yourself.

However, despite this catch-22, the best solution is without a doubt to stay at home. It’s more important to keep yourself healthy than to avoid missing any amount of school. By staying at home, recovery is also faster and no one else can get sick from the germy fumes that students cough up as they suffer through a school day.

While the image plastered in our brains of missing a day of school can seem disastrous, most of that is perpetuated myth. It will take an additional effort to complete the extra work, but if you communicate with your teachers, there is a more likely chance they will understand. After all, they don’t want to get sick, either.

So if you’re battling a fever verging on 100 degrees and an aching body, remember that one day at school isn’t the world, and by helping yourself to recover, you’re also helping other students steer clear of the “TJ Plague.”