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Won’t Somebody Think Of The Hypochondriacs?

These are tough times for everybody.  The worst in my lifetime. I’m still a little numb and insulated because I don’t know anyone who’s sick or died, but I know that day is coming. I know it might be me. I’m at risk. I got a bullseye on my back. I think of NYC, Italy or France. Or Detriot. Lots of families torn apart, towns nearly decimated, economies ruined. So much pain. We know the stories of the doctors, nurses, other health care professionals who are performing heroically every day.  Happily, the rate of recovery for patients is higher than expected, but the virus takes a big toll on everybody. All citizens are hurting, and they need support like money and bailouts. Airlines, cruise lines, small businesses,  restaurants, cities,  everyone has their hand out,  and rightfully so. The first payments are coming,  we’ve been promised.

Most doctors and psychologists have transitioned to using Zoom for their appointments, and boy do we need that right now!

But there’s one group suffering in silence during this pandemic. Always panicking, hyperventilating, calling their doctor. They hide in their rooms,  or curled up in bed. They play the news 24 hrs. a day. Or they watch Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, House and Grey’s Anatomy. And every little cough or sniffle signals the end. Say goodbye to the family,  draw up the will. Yes, it’s the hypochondriac waiting for imminent death that is suffering greatly. 
It’s allergy season in Cincinnati. You wake up with gunk in your head, a scratchy throat, a dry cough. Been waking up that way every year since age 3. But now, it’s the early symptoms of death. For sure. Sucking on zinc lozenges before breakfast upsets your stomach, another symptom. So now there are multiple symptoms,  and it’s time to call the doctor. Breakfast is emergent, toast, coffee. The coffee’s too strong, your heart is racing, the doctor hasn’t called back. You have heartburn,  maybe a heart attack- they can’t even see you at the hospital right now! Day after day is like this,  night after sleepless night. It’s only a matter of time. The doctor calls,  he’s got a referral. Another shrink.  Another Zoom appointment. Now you’re sneezing. Crap!

It’s never gonna end. Won’t somebody think of the Hypochondriacs? Now, where’d I put the Lysol?

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