Excuse Me, Waiter, You're Dripping Snot in My Soup

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Photo: Getty Images, iStockphoto

Despite an early outbreak among celebrities, the swine-flu pandemic seems to in large part be taking a bigger toll on the poorer masses. The people who don't have health insurance, whose financial situation compels them to work even when they are sick, who ride the germ-infested subway, and who are forced to navigate the unapologetic loogie-hockers of Chinatown every day are the ones for whom H1N1 is shaping up to be a real threat. But wealthier New Yorkers are not off the hook.

The Times implies today:


Ricardo Copantitla, a food server at Thalassa, a restaurant in the TriBeCa neighborhood of Manhattan, said he called in sick last year when he had the seasonal flu, not H1N1.

“The restaurant said you have to come to work, because they were short of people,” he said. “I had a bad cough, and I felt tired and terrible. But I went to work because I feared being fired.”

Well, that's the end of Thalassa, which didn't return calls for comment. But how many other restaurants are there like that? As a former waitress, we'd guess ... all of them?

Lack of Paid Sick Days May Worsen Flu Pandemic [NYT]