A Bad Cough and Sniffles

I’ve got a bad cough and the sniffles (not COVID, don’t worry), and I was going to just go in to teach because I feel basically fine otherwise, and I was just getting ready to drive into campus — and then I realized that even with masks on, coughing straight through the class in a small room with a dozen students is probably not the brightest idea. (I had a Zoom class this morning, and I had to mostly mute myself because I couldn’t stop coughing.)

You’d think not coughing on students would be obvious, but apparently it’s going to take me a while to get used to this new normal!

I could just cancel class because of sickness, of course — I’m allowed. But instead, I’ll have a student put me on their device and Zoom me in to join them. They’re mostly working in small groups today anyway, so I think it’s actually not going to affect them much one way or another, whether I’m physically in the class with them. Flexibility for the win.

It’s really an adaptation that I think we’re all struggling with, societally.

I’m afraid I’m sort of a sickly person, and tend to catch every stupid cold, etc. that comes around — most years, I’m sick for half the winter, and I generally have just gone in and taught anyway, because I wasn’t *that* sick. If I’m okay to drive, I usually used that as the indicator for whether I’m okay to teach in person.

Infectious disease theory says that is actually a very dumb thing to do, to come into campus when symptomatic and spread my cold germs around, but it’s hard not to feel guilty about not going in, even though it’s clearly better for the students if I don’t!

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