Among COVID-19 outbreak around the world, it is no more an infectious disease far away from us. It has influenced our lives and jobs greatly. As a new and unknown virus, COVID-19 still has no medicines and vaccines. All we can do is to do everything we can to not get infected and not spread virus. Prevention measures include maintaining social distances, avoiding "Three Cs" overlap (Closed spaces with insufficient ventilation, Crowded conditions with people, Conversations in short distance), hand washing, wearing masks and cough etiquette, etc.
But what if I feel sick one day? Should I go to hospital immediately? What should I do with my part-time job? Everybody should know these knowledges advancely in case of emergency. We are going to answer them by talking about common symptoms of COVID-19, actions in case of suspect symptoms, rules of contacting part-time job employer, salary during work absence, and some tips for finding part-time jobs during this special period.
Infectious diseases, which refer to influenza and COVID-19 here, have similar but still different symptoms, which makes us difficult to distinguish them two. But whatever symptoms we present, we should stay at home as possible to avoid spread virus.
The common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, feeling cold, fatigue, or difficulty breathing, diarrhea or loss of taste in some cases. Different from influenza that symptoms usually turn better in one week, coronavirus symptoms tend to develop severe. So if we get a fever, we can't judge which disease it is. But if the fever lasts for four days or more, or we turn to shortness of breath, then we should suspect of coronavirus infection and take corresponding actions as below.
As said above, if we present any suspect symptoms, we shouldn't go to work and stay at home, also take distances from other people including our families. We should also contact with our employer for a sick leave.
Make sure to contact our employer as soon as possible by phone call. He or she also needs time to take preparation for our leave, such as finding another part-time worker to cover our shift, or ask the shift before us to extend. So no matter we feel sick at night or in the early morning, contact the leader to let him or her know our situation.
If it is several days before our shift, sending mail or message may also be fine, but if it is the day before or the very day of our shift, we should contact the leader by phone call to make sure him or her contacted.
Don't delay the phone call for reasons like I think I may get better before work, or I feel sorry for asking a leave, or my employer may feel interrupted by a phone call at night. Actually it will really bother him or her if we go to work while in sick and then infect other staff, or if we contact for a leave one hour before our shift and no back-up worker can be found.
So we take a sick leave and rest at home, but we still feel sick. Don't go to hospital directly, instead call our regular doctor or public health center for instructions first. As we may infect hospital staff and other patients if we go to hospital without reservation, or we may also get infected by other patients.
The Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare recommends that if we have one of the following symptoms, consult with public health center for instructions:
・Have had cold symptoms or a fever of 37.5°C or over for four days or more, including when we need to continue to take an antipyretic
・Have a strong feeling of weariness or shortness of breath
And if we are a senior citizen or have an underlying disease, consult if we have had above symptoms for about two days.
If the health center suspects that we have been infected with coronavirus, we will be introduced to a medical institution for medical services. If so, we should visit the hospital with a mask wearing, and refraining from using public transportation. Or we may be recommended to keep watching on our health status at home by recording body temperatures everyday.
Currently many clinics and hospitals also request people with suspect symptoms call before visiting. Check homepage or take a call before going.
If we rest by taking sick leaves, paid holidays, or other injury and sick leaves if conditions meeted, we can get 100% of our wage for those days.
If we are asked to rest by our employer out of loss of customers, we should be paid 60% or more of our wage for those days according to the Labor Standards Act, regardless of employment types such as full-time employees, part-time workers, or contract workers. If we get fired by the employer, we may be eligible to claim for unemployment benefit, so check status of our unemployment insurance before leaving the job.
Also Japanese government are taking special measures in response to the impact of COVID-19 such as grants for businesses and families. It is decided to grant 100,000 yen for each person at this moment, while details of special measures change day by day.
Some companies and stores continue to hire people while taking infection prevention measures, such as wearing masks, thorough alcohol disinfection, changing business hours, and staggered working hours. We can apply following their recruitment steps and an online interview may be set instead of a face-to-face interview. In the trend of keeping social distance, online interviews become more and more popular among companies.
Or we can try part-time jobs which allow us work while staying at home so that we can earn money without worrying about getting infected.