Who is Sick? Wha?


I came across an interesting site this evening, and initially wondered if it was a belated April Fool’s prank.  Nope, it’s just a bizarre Google Maps mashup that shows… wait for it… who’s sick around the world.  Log on to Who Is Sick and see who’s sick around the nation, or if you’re feeling a little under the weather, post your symptoms for the world to see.

But honestly, who really needs this?

If you’re truly sick you’re probably not going to want to be spending your precious moments of free time doing anything but sleeping and staring slack-jawed at a bad soap opera.

Now you might possibly want to use the site to know if some sickness is going around the ‘hood.  But unless it’s the bird flu, I’d rather not know.  Ignorance is bliss, my friends.  And odds are it’s the people you actually come in contact with that are going to give you a cold, fever, etc.

Possibly even more reason for a raised eyebrow is the reason for founding the site.

 The genesis of the idea for Who Is Sick was actually from an acute need that our founder had when his wife started experiencing severe stomach pain while they were on vacation. With no way of knowing whether the pain was from appendicitis, food poisoning, or some other stomach illness, our vacationing couple went to the emergency room and waited for 4 hours (BTW – this was from 11pm until 3am) to be seen by a doctor…only to be told that there was a stomach flu going around and that if the pain didn’t go away in 24 hours, to come back. Wow. 4 hours wait for that…in the middle of the night… (of course the doctor did check to see if it was appendicitis so they weren’t all bad…).

Our founder thought, “if only there were a website that had current AND local sickness information, maybe we could have avoided the long wait.” Needless to say, this started the wheels spinning and a couple of months later, Who Is Sick was born.

If you think you’ve got appendicitis, you should probably get it checked out anyway.

Really, all this does is encourage paranoia. Maybe I’m missing the point here, but this seems like nothing other than a fun waste of time.

via Download Squad 

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Joey Livingston April 9, 2007, 8:11 am

    I disagree. Paranoia is thinking, “My stomach hurts really bad. It could be a stomach virus, but I know of anything like that going around. What if I have appendicitis?” I think we’ve all done something like that, not wanting to go to the doctor or ER, but not wanting to take an uneducated risk.

    This site, if successful, can help to eliminate that kind of paranoia. Yes, hypochondriacs could use it to aggravate their condition, but then they’re already unreasonably paranoid. I, on the other hand, could conclude with reasonable likelihood, that since there is a stomach virus going around, I can probably hold off spending a wad of dough, and what can add up to 7-8+ hours around my part of the world, at the ER.

  • damon April 5, 2007, 9:14 am

    I took an epidemiology class in school, and while this is on a much larger scale for tracking, I could see its use in tracking down sources and spread of disease and infection. Very interesting from many viewpoints. Kind of a CSI for disease and infections. Would require more data sets like recent travel, line of work, meals, routines etc. but cool none the less.