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The Luv Doc

Contagion

Contagion
Dear LuvDoc,
My workplace is mostly cubicles and it seems that every day one or more of my co-workers come to work sick. What is wrong with people?! This is supposed to be the worst flu season in years, and all around me people are sneezing and coughing. They all either claim that they either aren’t contagious or they have too much work to do. I want to scream at them to go home! How should I protect myself? I don’t want to have to walk around in a surgical mask, but I am considering it.
-Sasha

I feel you, Sasha. Sick people suck – well, except for Ferris Bueller. He behaved responsibly and took the day off. Unfortunately, most people don’t have Bueller-sized balls. In fact, more than half of the population doesn’t have balls at all. No, it’s not the result of some horrifying nut-eating virus but the product of a cosmic chromosomal crapshoot. You’re either packing a pair, or you’re not. Either way, there isn’t much you can do about it. A lot of people feel that way about diseases. You either get them or you don’t.

It is exactly that type of cavalier attitude towards disease that drives germophobes bonkers. For instance, I’m pretty sure that one out of six people here at the Chronicle have genital herpes. WTF! Right? That’s like nine people! How do I know that one of them isn’t secretly wiping his dick on the water fountain? I’m pretty sure there are several diabetic people here too. I know that’s not necessarily infectious, but someone keeps leaving boxes of doughnuts in the kitchen. I might as well add in periodontal disease - although I guess that’s to be expected with all the doughnuts.

Then, of course, there are those people who feel they are so indispensable that they have to come into work even though they just got back from a bareback monkey-fucking expedition on the Ebola River. Yeah, if Peter doesn’t finish those cover sheets for the TPS reports, business will grind to a halt.

The truth is, Sasha, that most of us are infected with fear: fear that if we don’t show up for work, the boss will find someone who will. Just like everything else in the workplace, fear is top down. My suggestion to you is to not live in fear. If you can’t manage that, go ahead and buy that surgical mask and some Handi Wipes.

Need some advice from the Luv Doc? Send your questions to luvdoc@austinchronicle.com, or check out the Luv Doc Archive.

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