Sniffles, slides and smiles

Nov 19, 2002

The Ethicist on being sick Anna came down with a virus last Friday, and within six hours had vomited first on my shoulder and then on Erin’s shoulder. Saturday Erin was feeling ill, and Sunday I had the scratchy throat of an oncoming cold. Erin escaped the brunt of the cold, but Anna and I have been miserable for the past two days.

I dragged myself into school yesterday morning, but at the gentle prodding of my medical journalism professor, came home early. See the link at the beginning of this post to read about the ethics of being in public when you’re contagious. I feel strongly about staying home when sick, but yesterday was to be a big day for me – Jim Roberts, the national editor of the New York Times was visiting the j-school to give the Park Lecture (part of the program that gave me a generous Park Fellowship), and I was invited to dine with him and a small group after his talk. In the end, I stayed home; passing a virus to a top editor would be a bad career move, I figured, as well as a poor showing in the public health arena.

I stayed home again today, and Anna and I passed the day with lots of Puffs tissue and long naps. We did go for a walk in the afternoon; Anna had a ball at the nearby playground, climbing and swinging and sliding down the fireman’s pole. To see her smile made me remember all the special days last year that we spent walking and exploring the world together. I enjoyed being a stay-at-home dad so thoroughly that I wonder if I shouldn’t get sick a little more often. Nah, I prefer health. But I would like more sunny afternoons at the park with my daughter.

Anton Zuiker

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