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Aitchoo! What's the etiquette with a cold?

(38 Posts)
shovetheholly Thu 24-Nov-16 08:24:01

Please help me to settle a light-hearted family dispute!

Person A maintains that if you have a cold that's bad but not so bad you are marooned in bed, you just soldier on and ignore it. You turn up to whatever you have scheduled without telling anyone you are ill. They argue that germs are everywhere, and you can catch a cold at any time, from any one.

Person B says that if you have a cold you should ring those you're due to spend time with and tell them, giving them them option to go ahead, cancel, or reschedule. Person B's argument is that people then have a choice about whether to risk catching it - and can take a judgement in accordance with their personal circumstances which you might not always know (e.g. a big event coming up - party or wedding, or an immunosuppressed person in the family).

Sirzy Thu 24-Nov-16 08:27:39

Unless you know its people who are immunocompromised or anything similar then I am with a. You carry on as normal.

This time of year colds are everywhere

Lweji Thu 24-Nov-16 08:31:03

Tell them to wash their hands more often.

KingJoffreysRestingCuntface Thu 24-Nov-16 08:31:27

I currently have a savage cold. I've just finished a night shift. I have another tonight. No choice but to crack on.

I have been wearing a mask though.

Fluffsnuts Thu 24-Nov-16 08:40:23

I'm with A

shovetheholly Thu 24-Nov-16 08:41:16

Oooops, in classic shove fashion, I forgot the most important thing - this is not about work, but social events around work, e.g. meetups, visits to houses etc.

SpuriouserAndSpuriouser Thu 24-Nov-16 08:55:46

I would generally be with person a on this, but if it was a horrible cold and it was a purely social visit, I would probably cancel, or at least let the person know I was ill. Not for a sniffle though, but for a really bad cold. Also if you have a really bad cold, going and having a meal out or something while you are snorting and sniffing is generally un-fun. So I would also be coming from a selfish point of view.

SquirrelPaws Thu 24-Nov-16 09:12:15

I tend to think that unless you feel really poorly with it, a cold does not count, so you dose yourself up and carry on as usual. Only if Sudafed doesn't liven you up are any concessions made round here.

PeachBellini123 Thu 24-Nov-16 09:17:27

I wouldn't visit someone elderly or young children with a cold (or anyone where a cold could turn in to something serious).

I've had constant colds due to pregnancy and there's no way I could no go into work everytime I had one. Just have to get on with it although lying in bed would be lovely.

Leopard12 Thu 24-Nov-16 09:34:04

Unless your visiting a baby, a hospital/care home or someone immunosuppressed, then there's no need to tell just try to cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze and maybe hand gel. If you feel really awful then you could cancel but because of your feelings not theirs!

StarryIllusion Thu 24-Nov-16 09:38:17

A unless you are seeing a newborn or someone with immune problem. If I stayed home every time I had a cold I would spend 4 months a year in quarantine.

OnchaoFerngrass Thu 24-Nov-16 09:44:03

B if its purely social and they have children not yet at school. Else A, but I do refuse to shake hands (e.g. with the DC's teachers) or greet people, I just apologise for being rude and say I have a cold and don't want to pass it on.

emmyhNL Thu 24-Nov-16 09:45:06

I'm with B. I'd call ahead and tell them I've got a cold and if they're OK with it then I'll come.

At work, we request that if you're sick, you work from home until it's gone to avoid passing it onto colleagues. We lost a lot more work days to people 'soldiering' on rather than staying home

FuzzyCustard Thu 24-Nov-16 09:47:23

If you've got a cold don't come anywhere near this household. DH is neutropenic and a cold could be a killer. I wish more people understood this.

rembrandtsrockchick Thu 24-Nov-16 10:43:43

I'm asthmatic and have lost count of the times when I have been very ill because someone has visited while having a heavy cold. "Oh it's only a sniffle, no need to worry". Well, your sniffle becomes my nasty chest problem. Bugger off!

AnchorDownDeepBreath Thu 24-Nov-16 10:46:11

I think generally I'm with A because colds are part of life; unless there's someone particularly at risk wherever you're visiting. But, I'd likely be texting whomever I was meeting so would have mentioned the cold and they'd have had plenty of chance to reschedule.

harderandharder2breathe Thu 24-Nov-16 11:21:02

Person A unless you know a particular person is imunocompromised

BorpBorpBorp Thu 24-Nov-16 11:22:56

B is correct.

Rumtopf Thu 24-Nov-16 11:31:14

I wholeheartedly agree with Person B.
Some things you can't avoid such as work, but you can take reasonable pro cautions not to infect others by using tissues, disposing of them properly and using anti bac on your hands if unable to wash them, using a face mask if in close proximity. (Love the Japanese culture for this!)
If the contact with others is optional - popping to a friend's for coffee, then yes absolutely give them the option of possibly contracting your cold.

What might make someone feel a bit ropey for a couple of days will knock me off my feet for a week!

FurryDogMother Thu 24-Nov-16 11:36:50

B here - I'm a carer for my 89 yr old Dad, and would really appreciate it if people would let me know when they have a cold, so I can avoid them for the duration. Years back I once brought a cold home which both my Mum and Dad caught - his developed into pleurisy, hers into pneumonia. I'm always a bit paranoid now, and would like to have the choice whether to come into contact or not with a known cold!

willconcern Thu 24-Nov-16 11:50:43

I think you carry on as normal. However, if the person you're visiting has a suppressed immune system, or is getting married in 2 weeks, then I'd phone and say I had a heavy cold, would they rather postpone!

chartmc Thu 24-Nov-16 11:57:49

i have a cold.. am i ok to join in this conversation? wink lol. tbf, it is just a cold.. you cant lock urself away! everyone gets colds sometimes. i dont think you need to put your life on hold because u r going to cough or sneeze. fair enough if the person u r going to meet is old or some kind of other illness. but yea.. its just a cold. no? lol x

FuzzyCustard Thu 24-Nov-16 12:09:05

There is no "lol" about it of someone with immunosuppression gets a cold. I'm actually a bit offended at the "lol".... there are lots of people for whom a virus is very dangerous and the "everyone gets colds" mindset is terrifying.

Quite right to check if it matters or not.
Yes to frequent and vigorous hand washing.
Yes to anti bac hand gel.

And a definite yes to being a bit thoughtful and not assuming anything.

AwaywiththePixies27 Thu 24-Nov-16 12:42:22

Just to wash your hands more often and dispose of tissues etc properly.

I've been in hospital 4x this year. A cold in summer set my asthma off and landed me in the High Dependancy Ward via resus. Never ever occurred to me to be more careful. Given all of the above however, I still can't expect everyone to cancel work/plans/events in case I catch the cold. There's an awful cold going around at the moment ward I was on last week was full of said patients. It's just one of those things. But I do expect common courtesy, like I said hand washing, tissues dumped asap and hand gel.

AwaywiththePixies27 Thu 24-Nov-16 12:46:28

Meant to add OP, I'm with person B too. Needless to say of the above. I'd want the option of knowing I risk landing myself in hospital and being able to say, no offence but come when you're better. Isn't it just common courtesy to warn people?

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