In the novel Diary of a Mad Housewife, which I read a hundred years ago, there was a scene that so infuriated me that I've remembered it ever since--and it's not one you'd think. The main character gets the flu and decides to read Proust, because someone tells her that Proust and a hot toddy is just the thing when you're sick.
I'm sorry, but if you're reading Proust, you're not sick. If you--like a colleague I once had--say that you use the time when you're sick to catch up on reading Derrida in the original French, you're not sick.
If you say that you're sick and you finished writing an article and grading 40 papers, and isn't it lucky that you didn't have to teach because you are so productive when you're sick because it forces you to slow down, you're not sick.
If you can do anything more intellectually challenging than guess which of the three houses the people on House Hunters International will choose, you're not sick.
And if you think you can struggle into the classroom or meeting, coughing and sneezing and spreading whatever pestilence is going around this week and we will be grateful because you're just that important, here's a news flash:
Don't be "determined" to do something so that we can catch your germs.
Stay the #@$%^ home.
(Sorry, IHE columnist, but you really hit a nerve with this one.)