Although Jen Palmieri, Hillary Clinton’s communications director, acknowledged that the campaign should have let the press know sooner that Secretary Clinton was fine, following her leaving the 9/11 memorial for health reasons on Sunday, working women have known for decades that even when you’re sick, you work. Mothers joke that they aren’t allowed to get sick, and advertisers rake in profits for cold and flu relievers that allow moms to go on doing their jobs. And women in the workplace, often judged for how strong or weak they are, regularly come to work even when they should be home in bed—even when society should allow for rest and recovery.
I learned this lesson early in life. During my early professional years, somehow my body knew it had to wait to get sick until it was time for annual leave. So I ended up spending my vacation time nursing bad sinus infections or flu, before flu shots. Later in my professional career, I simply learned to soldier on, no matter what.