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Take a sick day, or two

Getting sick often means you don’t feel like doing any work. But for woodworkers, it frequently means that you shouldn’t even try.

Well, it took two years of this pandemic to do it, but Covid-19 finally caught up with me. Fortunately, after two vaccinations and three boosters, it’s very mild – more like a bad cold – but that doesn’t mean I can avoid taking it seriously.

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I’ve talked before about working while sick, and I bring it up again because it’s one of the most important safety issues there is. You can’t do your best work if you’re not at your best. In my previous broadcasting career, making mistakes because I was working while sick typically meant that I’d say something stupid on the air. (In truth, regular listeners were used to that.) But making mistakes in the woodshop can ruin a project at best, and cause serious injury at worst.

But for some reason, as a safety issue it tends to fall way down the list behind safety glasses and such. Those important safety rules are constantly hammered into our brains, and that’s a good thing, but for some reason, not feeling your best doesn’t rank that highly as a threat.

This bout of Covid going around the Hamler house isn’t all that bad, but it does have some effects both my wife and I are feeling. We’re fuzzy-headed, slow and prone to fumbling things. Our reaction times are impacted, and our spatial perception is a bit off. None of those things was a big deal back when I was sitting behind a microphone, but all of them are extremely big deals when I’m standing behind a spinning blade.

The bottom line is that it’s just not worth it. Yes, I have work to do, including a project that someone else is expecting, but it can all wait. What you and I do in the shop is important – it’s our whole lives – but our personal safety should always come first.

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