IN RESPONSE to the swine flu, President Obama has been urging people to take the same steps as they would to prevent a regular flu: wash hands frequently; cover their mouths, and stay home from work if they are sick.
It's too bad that 57 million workers will have a hard time with that last one. That's the number of workers who don't have any paid sick days, according to the workplace organization 9 to 5. For those workers, taking a day off to keep from infecting co-workers and customers means losing income, or even their jobs.
What's a bigger shame - for the rest of us - is that most of the workers without paid sick time are employed in lower-wages jobs that come with wide public exposure: restaurant workers, child-care centers, nursing homes, mass-transit systems, schools and hotels.