New Year, New-monia

The title of this post is a portmantNO, but I couldn’t resist. My first adventure into 2019 was a fun bout of pneumonia. Actually, it wasn’t fun at all—it was miserable and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone but pneumonia itself.

However, a few positives came out of it:

  • I beat the new Spider-Man on PS4
  • I can now spell “pneumonia” correctly on the first try
  • I’m finally over my pneumonia

Overall, pneumonia gets a 0/5 star rating because I can’t recommend it to anyone. Just don’t try it. Don’t.

If you don’t follow my advice and you end up with pneumonia anyway, I hope you can learn from my misfortune. Make sure you have the following so you can go from pneumonia to no-monia in no time!


Image by K putt on Flickr

Although the Playstation 4 came out in 2013 (is it that old already?), it’s new to me. Santa gave me a PS4 Spider-Man bundle for Christmas and it was exactly what I needed to take my mind off of my sickness. Instead of being bundled up under a blanket surrounded by discarded tissues and cough drop wrappers, I was web-slinging through New York City, stopping crime, and chasing pigeons.

I can’t remember the last time I felt so immersed in a narrative-driven game. I had been playing “pick up and go” style games like Super Smash Bros., Rocket League, and The Binding of Isaac, so I forgot what it was like to sit back and enjoy the atmosphere of a game. From the time I got sick to when I finally felt better, I completed Spider-Man’s main story.

I would give this game 5/5 stars if not for one issue…

Even though the main appeal of a Spider-Man game is playing as Spider-Man, the folks behind it decided that the game needed mediocre puzzles in order to give players a more well-rounded experience. It’s like buying Tetris and being forced to complete a bland clone of Super Mario Bros. in order to get back to Tetris.

Overall, I give Spider-Man 4.5/5 stars.


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Let me preface this by stating that I’m extremely fortunate to work for a company with great benefits and the flexibility to work from home. However, I learned a thing or two about paid time off (PTO) through my sickness.

Traditionally, companies offer a block of vacation time, sick days, and personal days. As someone who rarely needs to take time off due to health reasons, I would use one or two sick days a year if I caught a cold. I don’t hesitate to take sick days if I’m actually sick.

The lesson I learned, however, is that many companies have turned to a PTO system that an employee may use for any reason. You can schedule time off for a vacation, a doctor’s appointment, or anything else you need to do. For me, this means that my pneumonia has me spending days that I would otherwise use for a vacation.

From the articles I’ve read, I shouldn’t view PTO strictly as vacation, but I can’t help but think that I would rather go to work at suboptimal health than burn a vacation day. This is called presenteeism and it spreads sickness throughout a workplace, resulting in lower productivity overall.

If it was up to me, I would prefer having defined sick days. Or, better yet, unlimited PTO so I wouldn’t even think of coming in sick. Unlimited PTO has its own pros and cons, but I think that it can go a long way if implemented properly.

PTO is important if you have pneumonia and a well-designed PTO system is even more important.

My current PTO system gets 4/5 stars.

A Doctor

Photo by Parentingupstream on Pixabay

When I get sick, I’ll take shots of DayQuil and NyQuil until things go back to normal. This time, however, things went from bad to worse. After a week of this regimen, I developed a nagging cough that nearly kept me up all night. It was time to see a doctor

Even with health insurance, I always turn to doctors as a last resort. I’m not anti-medicine—I’m anti-enormous-healthcare-bill. The fact that my country forces me to consider my financial health when make decisions about my actual health is an entirely different rant for the future.

I stopped by an urgent care clinic and was prescribed an inhaler and antibiotics. After a few days, I felt like an actual human being again. I can’t help but think that I could have probably died from this silly disease in the 18th century. Although the billing system is confusing, I have to thank modern medicine for my health.

Doctors get 5/5 stars.

In case you needed another reminder: say no to pneumonia.

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