While we're talking about how policy failures can help illnesses spread, let me pass on some news from organizer Ellen Bravo of Family Values @ Work. As flu season starts (file under: Contagion), Bravo's group is stressing that real contagion can be prevented if more people had paid sick days. Every year, 44 million low-wage workers go to work even if they or their children are sick because they still have to pay the rent and buy food. Those are the people who handle our food, clean up our tables, change our sheets in hotels and hospitals, and take care of our children. She writes:
Seattle just won paid sick days Monday with an 8-1 vote in City Council... looking for another win soon in Philly on an ordinance requiring those who receive contracts or subsidies from the City to provide paid sick days. Denver voters will decide a citywide ballot initiative there Nov. 1. Many other campaigns gearing up for 2012.