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Flu virus
A flu virus plotting to make life miserable for somebody.
An out-of-the-ordinary flu epidemic now afflicts the nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control, it's the worst in a decade. In Boston, for instance, a public health emergency has been ordered. Thanks to politicians' lack of concern for people's real lives, the situation is being made worse because Americans are going to work and spreading the disease when they should be home in bed. Why? Because they don't get paid sick leave.

Laura Conaway points to a perfect example of this in Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's support for Republican-passed legislation that overturned a Milwaukee referendum mandating sick leave. It would have given five paid sick-leave days for small businesses and nine for large ones. Walker's idiotic reasoning? The sick-leave ordinance would have stood in the way of job creation. Gag me.

So now what's happening?

Emergency departments at Milwaukee-area hospitals have been forced at times over the last 10 days to divert ambulances elsewhere because a surge in patients with flu-like illnesses is approaching the 2009 swine flu pandemic, health officials said Wednesday. [...]

The spike in flu likely was catalyzed by holiday gatherings where grandparents and other elderly people were exposed to the virus, Biedrzycki said.

So why does that person next to you with the fever who is making several extra trips to the restroom each day not just staying home and not exposing you and everyone else in the vicinity to what she's fighting? Because, as Laura Clawson recently reported:
Only one in five low-wage workers have paid sick leave, and 48 percent of all full-time workers in the private sector have no access to paid medical or family leave.
There is a movement on to fix this foolishness, yet one more example of where American exceptionalism has our nation out of step with the rest of developed world. Getting the Scott Walkers out of the way would help speed the process along.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:03 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, Badger State Progressive, and Daily Kos.

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