Too Sick To Come In

Night sweats, high temperature, shivers. You can’t keep your food down and you’re feeling delirious. You’re cough is wet with phlegm and your nose is running. Perhaps it’s just a cold; a season fever that’ll pass. Or you’re coming down with something serious and need to be benched until you feel better.

When is crew classed too sick to work?

Deck staff and Engineers can soldier on if they’re feeling up to it. But yachties who work in the interior, and Galley especially, need to  think of not only themselves but the risk of infecting other staff and passengers. Not only are they interacting with passengers directly, but they are handling food, clothing and linen. In these cases rather be safe than sorry.

Working with food isn’t that same as confining yourself to your office cubicle in hopes you don’t get your germs on anyone else; the stakes are higher. Statistics state humans touch their faces an average of 2000 to 3000 times a day. When you’re wiping your agitated mucus filled nose and returning your hand to the chopping board or pillow cover; the chances of germ transference are high. Do you want to risk infecting the whole vessel because you can’t stand to be away from your post? Head chefs, this is when you call on your understudy. 2nd Chefs, Sous Chefs, Cooks and Galley Hands are there to pick up the slack if you or one of your crew members is out of commission. Head Stews; you need to make a decison that will protect the everyone on board. 

Waking up on the wrong side of the bed or being painfully hung over is something you can and should work through. The entire yacht is depending on you and your department for sustenance. However, if you have gastric flu or any other viral infection best to quarantine yourself until you’re feeling better. Your yacht should have a fully stocked Medical Aid bag. Take a course of antibiotics and catch up on some much needed rest.

Colds, flus and infections attack the whole body. Not only are you a contagion of germs but you cannot perform at optimum potential. Your taste buds are off, you’re working slower and you tend to be grumpier. This is not conducive to productivity in the fast-paced, high stressed environment of the galley. Your body is in distress; listen to it and take the time off to nurse yourself back to health.

If you’re only feeling slightly under the weather, and you  have the strength to carry on with your duties be sure to medicate adequately so you can quash any trace of sickness before it advances. Also, be sure to wash your hands regularly. Use a decent amount of soap and at least 30 seconds of warm water to kill any germs. Poor hygiene is the quickest way to spread contamination through the galley and the interior of the vessel. Your Captain and the yacht owner won’t be impressed if your negligence causes everyone on board getting sick. The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points or HACCP is a great standard to follow in this regard.

No one likes getting sick, especially when you’re miles from home and no one is willing to sing you “Soft kitty, warm kitty.” So be sure to take care of yourself. Recover completely before rushing to get back on your feet. Your body is your livelihood; keep it vital and healthy.