How much do you sequester yourself when you get a highly contagious miserable illness?

Some friends and I were talking the other night, reminiscing about the holidays several years ago when a family member got a norovirus or something similar on Christmas day. The conversation turned to what do you do in the case where you’re invited to or hosting a holiday party - What’s the “right” thing to do, what do you do, how do you decide?

So let’s say you come down with something like that a few days before a big holiday - Thanksgiving, Christmas, whatever. Obviously if you’re sick on the day, you don’t go. But what if you’re over it by the time the day comes, or if you’re someone living in the same home as the sick person? Do you not attend?

What if you are the host - would you feel comfortable hosting a party 3-4 days after you or someone in the house had a congatious disease? Assume the person in question has recovered a couple days before. They might feel fine but who knows if you’re still contagious and even if you bleach your entire house it’s possible it could still lurk.

Does that answer change if there’s infants or old people or similarly fragile folks attending?

For me, I dunno what I’d do. On the one hand, you’re not sick anymore, you did your best to disinfect everything, it’s not like folks stay home from work or shopping or whatever all the time because of fear of getting sick, and it’s a major hassle for everyone involved if you cancel Christmas or Thanksgiving the day before. On the other hand, I’d feel horrible if I passed on something as miserable as a bad cold or norovirus. How do you decide?

I’m just gonna try to stay healthy.

I don’t think about it that much. I don’t disinfect anything above normal cleaning if I’ve been sick, doing so will only aid in helping the virus evolve and become stronger, which is a much bigger risk. The amount of disinfecting has become a huge perpetuator of these illnesses.

Of course, if I’m symptomatic of something contagious I will stay away from an event where I know old people/babies will be, but I can’t call in sick with a cold, or even the flu. I have to go to that mall, or I get fired. Its not realistic for me to really even take it into consideration. I rarely get sick anyways, my last cold was 2 years ago and I’ve been 5 years without the flu.

I can work from home, so if I think I’m contagious, I do that.

When I’ve had a contagious disease, I do some disinfecting before going out in public. Well, not with antibiotics, but I will strip, shower, wash my hair (which I don’t do every day) wash my phone and watch, put on all clean clothes (no sweater I wore while I was sick) and change my sheets and do all my laundry. I also wash my hands a few extra times, especially if I touch my face.

I also avoid preparing food for others when I have a stomach bug.

I don’t get many stomach bugs, it’s never happened right before I planned to host something. I’m not sure what I’d do.

I did catch a cold right before my son’s wedding. I decided that it was only a cold, and wouldn’t kill anyone, and I wasn’t going to miss the wedding for a cold. So I took sudafed and ibuprofen, and washed my hands carefully, and pretended I wasn’t sick. I did try to avoid being too close to the elderly guests, just in case.

One Xmas Eve, myself and hubs, plus my best friend, were together at our place as usual, chilling between mad rushes we would both have the next day with our families. We were actually headed two hours out of town. By the next morning they were both stricken with norovirus. It was not pretty, but I was spared as I’d had it previously.

There was no chance anyone was going anywhere, both too sick. It was all cancelled. Everybody stayed where they were and missed the scheduled festivities, neither household with the normal foodstuffs. I spent the day looking after hubs, then trekking to my friends place and walking her dog and taking her soup.

Now, imagine how dreadful it would have been to spread this through two large gatherings. I shudder to think about it. It wasn’t pleasant but everyone muddled through and the families were nothing but understanding. Wouldn’t you be? Even if we’d been hosting, it would have to have been cancelled, I think.

I’m already about as sequestered as I can get. Just me and the dogs.

Several years ago my friend’s family got stricken with stomach flu. A day or so after the last family member was over it, she hosted a cookie baking party at her house. She says she disinfected everything but every single one of us who attended the cookie party came down with the stomach flu.

I don’t risk it after that. Now, I never find myself in a situation to host a party but based on the above anecdote, I wouldn’t.

The same friend was stricken with the stomach flu a year or so ago and she called me in the middle of the day to ask me to get her Gatorade and flu masks from the drugstore and leave them at her door. Needless to say, she seems to be as aware of the spread-ability of this type of virus as anyone.

I have been getting the stomach flu once a year for the past few years, since my nieces started school. I don’t even see them that much but I still get it (I work from home so it’s PRETTY much that I get it from someone I know). It’s a sneaky bug!!