The sickie story is like a boomerang.
At the start of each Aussie winter (read: flu season), the lights of the internet spark up with all kinds of survival tips for the chilly season ahead. And without fail, there will be a piece about making sure you take a sick day when you’re sick.
Vogue seems to be leading the march this winter, posting ‘Yes You Should Take That Sick Day – Here’s Why’ outlining the costs to both yourself and your company should you decide to soldier on with symptoms of illness. Ya know, lack of productivity, infecting others, risking long-term sickness, all that. You know the spiel.
But as we prepare to consume this butter-menthol flavoured story for yet another year, I must ask one favour: use your bloody brain.
Common sense has fallen by the wayside in regards to looking after yourself.
When it comes to health, people seem to be disconnecting from what their body is telling them, and opting to instead plug in with the teachings of Doctor Google.
According to Your Practice Online, an online medical marketing agency, eight out of ten online health inquiries start at a search engine. EIGHT out of TEN. That means almost everyone who is concerned for their health has started their search for a cure, in the search bar of their computer.
(As someone who once Googled, 'Can you get skin cancer under your toe?', I can totally believe that statistic.)
But even more frighteningly, Your Practice Online also notes that "Health information is the most searched topic on the web."
What does this say about our generation? That we are invested in our health, or that we are just a bunch of hypochondriac nerds who are convinced the freckle on their toe is a carcinogenic growth?
The Gen Y obsession with our health has spawned an army of health bloggers, many of whom are completely unqualified to give advice. Like, we're at the stage in which Vogue (VOGUE, PEOPLE) is advising us to take a sick day if we're feeling sick. Are we that far gone?
We have stopped listening to our bodies, and more importantly, scientific evidence.
"I don't want the flu vaccine this year," stated one friend recently, "because I don't want to get sick." Blinking furiously at her, I decided it was easier to hold my tongue, and not even dabble in that realm of absurdity.
Other people are refusing antibiotics because they are scared of the great 'antibiotic immunity' that is apparently set to sweep humanity like the zombie plague. I've had friends collapse, dehydrate to the point of hospitalisation, and miss weeks of work because they opted for online diagnosis as opposed to seeing a health professional.
(And when I say health professional, I include natural medicine, too: many of these practitioners are fully qualified to know when to say, "You are really sick, dude. Go to the hospital." Something Google isn't so great at...)