We have a new rule at the office. Stay home if you are sick.

No longer are there medals handed out for making the effort, for dragging your weak and chilled body out of bed, and certainly not for sneezing all over your coworkers. We’ve woken up as a working society to the fact that there is a domino effect to many common illnesses, and if we can just let that first domino lay there and rest, maybe the others won’t fall, too.

Doctors are changing, too—or, at least, the set of rules and regulations under which they live are changing. At one point, reaching a doctor was a multi-step process. Leave a voicemail, talk to the gatekeeper, talk to the nurse, make an appointment, move it twice, beg for a prescription to be called in, and then, maybe, see the doctor. Now? Email, video visits, and no waiting policies. In fact, when a family member recently had heart surgery, the head of the cardiac unit gave him a card when he was released and said, “Just email me if you have any questions or problems.” Better yet, when the patient availed himself of the service, it worked—
the doctor replied almost immediately, saving them both significant time in comparison to a visit or even a phone call.

Sure, some of the change is technology-enabled, but not all of it. Even the medical professionals who aren’t quite ready to embrace emailing with patients are adapting. It’s as though they are thankful for the patient who gets involved in his or her own health care. Wellness now is a community project.

Brands are accommodating wellness, too. Element Hotels (part of Marriott) is partnering with Priority Bicycles for Bikes-to-Borrow, a wellness-based initiative for its guests. The program provides signature bikes and safety helmets so guests can explore their surroundings and exercise in the process. And don’t get started on plant-based—it’s everywhere. For example, Beyond Meat (a meat alternative) is now reportedly available in all TGI Friday’s stateside locations.

Being well used to mean you kept your weight down, ate your fruits and vegetables, took your multi-vitamin, and kept your appointment for your annual physical. Now, it means you are more proactive about your personal health. You don’t diet as much as you eat better; you consider your mental health; and, you eat with your future in mind.

In the meantime, stay home if you are sick.

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