Why Paid Sick Days and Remote Work Are Essential #Coronavirus
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Why Paid Sick Days and Remote Work Are Essential #Coronavirus

A perspective on the necessity of paid sick leave in the US, and how its need has been signified by the Coronavirus.

tables, people, restaurant, lights, black and white
Image by Free-Photos (Pixabay)

"Hi Karen, it's so nice to see you! How have you been?" Eva said to her long-time friend Karen. They elbow-shook, and were soon called to their table.

"Is there anything I can get you to drink?" the waitress asked.

"I'll have a coffee" Karen replied.

"And I'll have green tea if you have any?" Eva asked.

"Yes we do, and I'll come right back with the drinks" the waitress said. As she walked away, she sniffled a little bit.

"So how has work been going?" Karen asked.

"It's been going well, our tech company is allowing us to work from home. So, it's been nice to take care of the kids while also doing some of my work." Eva explained.

"Are the kids distracting you from work? Mine are. I understand why the public schools were shut down for a little, but I wished they at least kept their daycare centers open. My kids distract me from my work" complained Karen.

"Mine do sometimes, but that's why I have my own office" Eva replied.

The two mothers then read the menu.

"Hi again, here is your coffee, and here is your tea" the waitress said, giving each mother her corresponding drink.

"Now, what would you like to order?"

"I'll have the caesar salad" Karen said.

"And I'll have the Spinach-Feta omelet" Eva said.

"Ok thanks!" the waitress said; she started to cough a little as she walked away.

Karen and Eva turned towards each other.

"You don't think she-?"

"I mean she looks fine"

"I don't know"

"I mean same here"

"Should we ask for another waiter?"
"I think that would make sense. I don't want to get the kids sick"

"Same here, waiter!"

"Yes ma'am?"

"Hi, so we noticed that our waitress is a little under the weather, and since we don't want to get sick, we would like to ask for another wait staff person"

"Oh ok, I will see what I can do" the waiter responded. He then walked to the back.

"See that wasn't too bad" Karen said.

"Yeah, it was fine" Eva added.

About 20 minutes later…

"Here is your caesar salad and omelet" said the waiter, as he and the waitress gave the food to the two women.

"Hi, I thought that we said that we don't want her touching our food. She's sick"

"Excuse me?" said the waitress.

"Yeah, you're sick, and we don't want you touching our food"

"Tell that to my boss" responded the waitress.

"Sure, we'll tell him about you being sick and your rude behavior"

"While you're at that, go ahead and ask him to give his staff paid sick leave"

The two professional women then paused.

"So, I heard that you two are working for these large tech companies here in the Bay. Well, this is my main job, and no I can't work from home. We workers in the service industry find it impossible to do that. Furthermore, my boss doesn't offer sick days. And my kid's school is out too, so that means that I have to pay for extra childcare on top of my normal expenses. I don't have a choice not to work while sick, unlike you. And no, I'm not sick, I 'm just having allergies right now".

The two women were stunned at her story.

The waiter smiled and added, "and since you guys make enough to work from home, we expect a large tip".

The two wait staff walked away quietly back to the kitchen.

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