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Congestion, runny nose, body aches, occasional coughs. Coronavirus? Probably—hopefully—not (I got the Pfizer vaccine already).


The entire third week (which started on Tuesday because Monday was Memorial Day) I had a cold. I didn’t tell my supervisors because well… I don’t know. Maybe because there’s only eight weeks of DukeEngage and to call off one or two days…


But now that I’m reflecting on it, I think I didn’t tell them because of the virtual format. During court on Zoom, I have to keep my camera off until our case is called anyway, so no one would see me constantly wiping my nose or wrapped in a fuzzy blanket. Even when my camera is on, the frame is focused on my face, so no one would see the mountain of used tissues or cup of tea on my desk right next to my laptop and much less my fuzzy blanket that I would be wrapped in seconds before but that would then just be keeping my legs warm. And when my camera is on, it’s not for very long, so I would just hold my sneezes in and try to not make a face as I would feel snot dripping from my nose and quickly making its way to my mouth. Lastly, when my camera is on, I’m usually muted, so no one would hear me sniffling or would realize that I couldn’t talk much.


That’s exactly how it went.


This week, I didn’t have to call clients. Half of my work was attending Zoom courtrooms and legal workshops, and the other half was off Zoom, reading legal statutes and updating a list of Voluntary Bar Associations.


Was it the right choice to not call in sick?


If DukeEngage would’ve been in person, would I have called in sick? Regardless, I probably would’ve been sent home, especially because the symptoms of a cold are very similar to those of COVID-19. But it’s not in person, and I’m already home and basically quarantined in my room.


I’m better now, but I’m left thinking about the phrase: “If a tree falls, but no one is around to hear it, did it make a sound?” But more like, “If you get sick, but no one is around to see it, were you really sick?”