Can you afford to take five to seven days off work because of the flu?

Now that Minnesota is classified as a state where flu is “widespread,” officials are recommending that children age 5 and younger be kept home from school or daycare for seven days after symptoms first appear. Guidelines urge that students stay home for 24 hours after a fever subsides, and that adults stay home from work if they are sick. Can you afford to take five to seven days off work because of the flu?

Fortunately, I’m a nanny, and work through an agency that has advised that we call in sick with flu symptoms so that the families we work with can use an on-call nanny provided by the agency for lesser inconvenience. We’re also told we can call to discuss refusal to care for ill children. -Chelsea Chase, River Falls, WI

No kids here, but no paid time off left either. Sick kids and parents, too, need to stay home. Our company is assuming lots of telecommuting will happen. -Kathleen, St. Louis Park, MN

We have minimum wage jobs and a daughter on the way. Most of my girlfriend’s check is burned up paying for health insurance and mine barely pays for food and other bills. 5 to 7 days off is impossible. -Dave, Minneapolis, MN

I will certainly stay home, even though self-employment means no pay, nobody else deserves getting ill because of my selfish greed. -Roger, Cambridge, MN

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