What should I do about the coronavirus without health insurance, paid sick leave?

These 4 recommendations work for the flu, other illnesses as well

A person on the couch. (Pexels/stock image)

The coronavirus has caused a lot of concern for many people around the world, but the anxiety level might be amplified for those who don’t have health insurance or paid sick leave from their employers.

If you’re in that group of people who simply can’t afford to miss a day of work, even for the coronavirus, you probably are asking yourselves, “What should I do if I start to feel really sick?"

First things first: Why would you suspect it’s COVID-19? It could just be the flu. Either way, if you’re in a position to self-quarantine, that’s likely best. And if you’re feeling unbelievably sick, contact your physician or family doctor as a jumping-off point. Check out this link for more information.

And in the meantime, here are four suggestions to help navigate the coronavirus without health insurance or paid sick leave. Hopefully it doesn’t get to this point -- but it’s also worth noting that these suggestions work for other illnesses as well, including influenza.

1). See if your employer will allow you to work from home.

More and more companies are starting to realize this is a viable solution for their employees to help quell the spread of any sickness.

Twitter is one major corporation that announced it is “strongly encouraging” its employees to work from home.

Read more: Facebook, Apple and Twitter ask staff to work from home due to coronavirus

2). Call your human resources department to see what your options are.

If you’re stuck without sick leave, it doesn’t hurt to call your HR department to see if they have any solutions or policies that could help.

3). Exhibit patience.

The coronavirus is a fluid situation for many HR departments and companies which are scrambling to come up with proper solutions to help their employees.

It’s new to everyone, but many companies are starting to realize how important it is to aid their workers.

Some lawmakers are also trying to take action, as well. Washington Sen. Patty Murray and Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro have introduced a bill that would allow all workers to gradually earn seven days of paid sick leave and require employers to provide an additional 14 days of paid sick leave at the start of a public health crisis, according to The Hill.

4). Follow safety guidelines as much as possible.

If there’s no way to miss work, then make sure to follow the prevention guidelines. Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, avoid close contact with those who are sick, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth -- and covering a cough or sneeze with a tissue are some basic preventative measures.

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.