According to the Wall Street Journal, saying you have the flu is the easiest way to get out of work right now. As someone who had both the flu and the norovirus in the last two weeks I find this news appalling and also brilliant. People are not only using the flu as an excuse to get out of work, but also as a way to get out of general social obligations. In a way, could the flu actually be making people stop and smell the roses (since they aren’t congested because they are liars, they actually can)?
According to the WSJ, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared this year’s influenza season an “epidemic,” and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a flu emergency for the state this month. Between 600 and 800 people a day reported to New York City emergency rooms with flu-like symptoms between Jan. 18 and Jan. 21. The visits peaked last week at 800 daily and have decreased somewhat from there.
So if you were ever going to be fake sick, this is the time to do it. Don’t feel like going to your niece’s ballet recital? You’ve got the flu! Promised your friend you would go see Les Misèrables? Can’t! You’ve got the flu and don’t want to cry for three hours. The flu is the new “I’m really swamped right now.” Meryl Streep claimed to miss the Golden Globes because she had the flu or maybe she just didn’t feel like hearing George Clooney’s lame jokes again. Plus, unlike just saying you’re busy working, again, the flu makes people feel sorry for you.