There is a double standard when it comes to health and school. On one hand, a sick person is encouraged to stay home and get better. It is in the best interest of not only you, as the sick person, but also your peers, as the classroom is a haven for uncovered coughs and sneezes without the extra help. You can afford to miss one day! On the other, you really can’t.
Students are pressued to power through sickness and keep attending class, despite being encouraged to do the opposite. The fear of failure is often stronger than the discomfort of being at school while sick.
Of course the school and their no doubt well meaning staff do not want this to be the case, but it is. Especially in the more academically competitive areas of higher education, it often feels easier to bear through the sickness than to risk missing a lecture.
But this is a failing logic. The body needs rest! Otherwise the result could be longer time spent sick, or even worse illnesses! Your grade may appreciate your dedication, but your wheezing classmates probably don’t.
What is the driving factor that makes pushing through illness more appealing than taking one or two days to recover? It could be about bodily control. “I can beat this” is a lot more appealing than “my body is out of my control and I need to stop my regular schedule in order to let it recover”. That doesn’t necessarily let the institution off the hook, though.
I have never had a problem with letting my body be ill. I would take weeks off for illness if it meant I never had to be uncomfortable, but society seems to demand a level of discomfort from its members, both in school and in the workplace. We must restrain our illnesses, quietly, and for as long as it takes for us to be considered “productive members” of that day. Even if we’re allowed the option of staying home, online coursework has ensured that on our days off, we are never quite “off”. (As an aside, who decided that homework due at noon on a Saturday should be a thing?! I mean, really!)
What’s a sick person to do? Sniffing, sneezing, coughing, and just barely breathing, come the sick season the classrooms do not become smaller due to all of the people caring for their bodies, the classrooms become individual petri dishes of determined, sneezing honor students.