Please Refrain from Self-Diagnosing COVID-19 using iPhones

The novel coronavirus pandemic has spread a wave of anxiety across the globe. We’ve heard reports about some seemingly normal young people who were infected with COVID-19 and passed away within a week. Health anxiety is real, many of us Googled up some of our ordinary cough and cold symptoms just to be sure.

Please don’t ask Siri whether or not you have coronavirus. She cannot diagnose you, but now she can engage you in a quick Q&A to know if you need to visit your local hospital for checkup, or not.

This isn’t to say Siri isn’t trying to prove helpful. It’s simply not suited to give you a proper medical advice.

COVID-19 can be pretty obvious, despite their differences. If you’re feeling meh but aren’t devastated, you may or may not have the corona virus. You’ll have to wait and see for the symptoms to evolve, however it isn’t advised that you run to your nearest medical setup soon after a dry cough.

If you’ve been in contact with people who were later tested positive for COVID-19, please do go to the nearest testing facility. If you’re part of the high-risk group (aged 60+) you may want to adopt precaution; still, don’t panic.

If there isn’t any emergency, better to avoid visiting the ER. You can, however, call your healthcare provider to review your available options for a second opinion. To reiterate, if you have more obvious symptoms such as fever or breathing problems, get yourself evaluated.

Why hate on Siri? Apple’s option to use it isn’t loathsome, but it does have the potential to trigger increased anxiety. It’s certainly not helpful. If you share basic/non-threatening symptoms with Siri, it will just confirm your symptoms and could lead you to panic.

Anyhow, if you’re truly concerned, grab your thermometer, not your phone or dial your healthcare provider. You can also try your local health centres or testing facilities.

Lastly, please don’t download apps that promise you more information about COVID-19 such as neighbour tracking, heatmaps of breakouts or such. Unless this comes from an official state source, you’ll most probably get scammed or phished.

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