For the first time since 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released new guidelines for people who have contracted COVID-19. Instead of asking people to isolate for five days, they have decided to pretty much treat the virus like any other virus.

In most basic terms, if you are sick and not getting better, stay home. More specifically laid out in an article in The Washington Post, the CDC recommends being fever-free (without medication) for at least 24 hours and having symptoms be mild and improving.

At first blush, this seems great. We must have learned that COVID is no longer as contagious for five days. While the Post article does acknowledge that the general population has developed some immunity to the virus, it also quotes an infectious disease expert who said while you can be right about the science, you won't accomplish anything if no one listens to you.

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Therefore, the CDC is adjusting the recommendations to better fit the tolerance of what people are willing to do. For a guy like me, I think I'm going to miss the five-day rule. It's not that I'm looking to check out of work for five days. It's just the opposite.

I loathe getting sick. I admit it. When I get sick, I low-key look around for someone to pin the blame. Who could be Patient Zero?  With the five-day COVID guideline, it was so nice to be able to point to the door and send someone home for five days (which would naturally wrap into a weekend and usually prolong the isolation a day or two).

While this new development is a return to common sense (if you are sick, please stay home), it is also a loss for germaphobes like me.

"Just come back when you feel better" is going to mean you're going to be working around and with sick people again.

If we're being honest, I was one of the worst offenders. In the pre-COVID days, I would have to be sick to take a sick day. I had a streak of nearly 15 years without a sick day.  Then, I had kids, they went to school and they brought home all the germs.

I suppose, in a way, this is a day to celebrate. The final step forward back to "normal."  You're sick?  Stay home. If not? See you tomorrow.

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