The Best Wellness Plan: Wash Your Hands


norovirusLast February, my husband was at a conference and I came down with nausea and stomach pains. I thought it was acid reflux because I’m a doctor like that.

[Whatever. I worked at a drug company. I know some doctors.]

So I took some Prilosec. Then I had diarrhea, which is a side effect of that drug, so I took some Immodium.

I remember texting a friend and saying, “The cashier at Walgreens asked how I was doing. I’m buying Immodium. What the eff kind of question is that?”

Hm. Maybe this cashier knew something because less than twenty-four hours later, I was at the doctor’s office. Vomiting. Dehydration. Awful.

The doctor said, “You have a norovirus. It’s closed down some of the schools here in Wake County.”

I asked, “What the hell is a norovirus?”

She said, “The stomach flu.”

What? I thought the stomach flu was fake. In fact, I’m still not sure it’s real. Do you know how many employees take off work because of stomach flu? And they always bounce back a day later. Liars.

But this gastrointestinal virus was real had me down for several days and it was gross. Ever stand up and poop yourself? Ever turn your head and almost pass out AND puke at the same time?

[Oh you have? Great. I’m glad we share that.]

Apparently the norovirus is very contagious and common with kids. Schools and parents know it well. And it just flared up again in my area. I was probably infected by a parent with a sick kid. Someone didn’t wash their hands… and then I didn’t wash my hands… and then I vomited up my jello for three days straight.


We tell people to eat less and exercise more. That’s great but the ‘stomach bug’ costs American businesses up to $10B/year (according to outdated and sketchy internet sources that I will not cite).

It’s not my job as your HR lady to keep you healthy but I will punch you in the face if you ever give me another norovirus or rotovirus. So here are some simple ways to stay healthy at work.

  • Don’t use your phone in the bathroom.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Don’t eat at your desk.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands.

You get my drift.

Wash your damn hands. Don’t eat at your desk. Don’t poop with your iPhone in your hands. And I know you won’t listen to me so just wash your hands and we don’t have to talk about the other things.

I don’t wish the stomach flu on my worst enemy. For real. It’s awful.

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