Dear CDC:

“Curious,” by Alan Light from Flickr Creative Commons

Dear CDC:

I am not usually one to write weird letters directly to federal agencies, and doing so makes me feel like a blowsy old lady who dictates letters to her cats… but I have this IDEA (I know, I know, you’ve heard this before). And did I mention I am a huge fangirl of Dr. Thomas Frieden (I should stop now)…?

Anyway, my idea is for a webpage on the CDC website called “What Goes Around…” It would be linked to Facebook and  there would be a smartphone app (perhaps you’ve heard of these). Anyway, sick people would fill out a brief questionnaire via phone or computer about their symptoms and also indicate whether or not they have been diagnosed by a doctor with a certain disease. This would then be plotted on a chart, and people could then hover over a map of the U.S. and see what other things (colds, flu, GI illness, allergies) are going around in their area. It would have a huge disclaimer about not being scientific, or medical advice, blah blah blah… But it could be a really cool thing to look at, and maybe, under the right circumstances, tip off a health department to illness trends.

If nothing else, the Internet has taught me that I have NO unique ideas  (…HELLO, napping centers and Barcade…I thought of you first!!), so I’m sure you’ve thought of this and dismissed it, but I thought I’d share.  Sorry to bother you with my rambling… Since you’ve made me watch your graphic anti-smoking commercials, I figure we’re almost even.

Ms. Florida