I can somewhat relate, because when I was a child, my mother use to overdress me when ever contagious sickness was going around. I assume the mother in the cartoon is a stay at home mother, but then she could also have a home business. Mothers and fathers who work for no-nonsense employers, cannot afford to miss work. This flu scare must be scary them crazy. For many, if they or their children get the flu, they have to stay home. That may mean a shorter paycheck. It could also mean a write-up or termination.
Some parents work for employers who make considerations for illness situations, but for other employers, it is less of a concern. Some years ago, I worked as a child care director for a Day care chain. If you called out sick despite the legitimacy and did not have sick time, it was an automatic write-up that could lead to suspension and even termination. That was tough for someone whose employment was under a year. After the 3 month probationary period, you received one sick day for every fully worked 2 months (tabulated in hours).
Calling out because you or your child has the flu or another illness and returning with a doctor’s note did not help your case at all, if you did not accrue enough sick time. With this current flu epidemic, my heart goes out to those who work in such environments.