Advice, Lifestyle

Ask Sophia: What to do instead of taking to WebMD when you’re sick

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I’ve received some comments that my blogs aren’t really applicable or relevant to the general public. It’s a shame some of you feel that way, but hey, I give the people what they want. With that being said, I’m going to shift gears on The Daily Free Now and give you a highly demanded advice column, brought to you by none other than myself.

I don’t know who thinks I have the authority to offer guidance to an online community, but I will admit I am much better at giving it than I am at applying it to my own life. The admiration and gratitude associated with helping others is a huge motivator — it also fuels my ego, but you can talk to my psychiatrist about that because I don’t want to go into details.

For my first day playing the role of “Dear Abby,” I wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to take. Do I open this up to the three people who interact with my Instagram? Should I tweet something out?

While I might deviate from this format until I get into the “groove,” as they say, I decided this time to ask someone for a pressing dilemma they needed advice on. Naturally, I consulted a friend of mine whose life is in shambles, and they posed a serious topic:

I love it, my-friend-who-will-not-be-named. Let’s unpack this one.

First of all, we’ve all been there. The nose gets runny. The exhaustion kicks in. You might even cough a few times. You don’t have a fever and you can still taste and smell, but you’re certain it’s the end: you’ve fallen victim to the ‘rona… except you have no valid proof that’s the case. You also start to feel better after drinking a glass of water for the first time in three days as opposed to Monster Energy.

I, too, have convinced myself on more than one occasion that my rapid spiral into complete dissociation and lack of energy was, in fact, COVID-19, and I was more than a little tempted to self-diagnose on WebMD. I am proud to report that I did not take to that godforsaken website and instead lied stark naked, face down on my bed for three hours before crawling into a burning hot shower for 45 minutes — a grand total of almost four miserable hours of my life that I will never get back. So that’s one option.

Another option to bypass a COVID-19 self-(mis)diagnosis is to read about alternative diseases you might have. I, for example, was able to convince myself that my raspy voice, fatigue and chest pain were not signs of the novel coronavirus, but of lung cancer. That made for a sleepless night, but at least I could lie there awake without the fear and shame of being COVID-19 positive.

For a bonus round, my friend appeared to respond to his own concern:

I hope this advice has helped you, dear friend. It’s not much, but it’s from the bottom of my empty heart. May you have a healthy, COVID-free week and a WebMD-free one as well.

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