The world awaits a vaccine for the Covid-19 infection with a hope that the old normal will be reality once again and the new normal which has less semblance to normalcy becomes a thing of the past. The vaccine being developed by Johnson & Johnson has entered phase-3 clinical trials in the United States on Wednesday. J&J is now the fourth company to reach this stage after AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna.
While scientists are literally racing against the time, there is no end to quacks and hacks being passed on as coronavirus cures. Before we go on to blame the quacks of making mockery of the situation, we take a moment to recall US president Donald Trump's remedy to inject disinfectants as a cure for the infection. Religious leaders did not stay back from throwing bizarre statements with some of them saying that the pandemic is a punishment from the gods for same-sex marriages.
Paapads, kadhas, ice-creams, concoctions of herbs and plants are being touted as cures for the virus infection.
The latest in the list is steam. Pune reportedly has 'steam bars' which are being pitched as coronavirus cure. That reminds us of the oxygen bar that started serving in Delhi last year after pollution levels soared after Diwali.
However, experts have rebuffed such claims and termed it useless. "Let’s not turn fear into business. This is completely useless," said Dr Faheen Younus, a US-based doctor who has been actively countering misconceptions around the coornavirus infection on social media.
Let’s not turn fear into business.
This is completely useless. https://t.co/0VpUO1HJse— Faheem Younus, MD (@FaheemYounus) September 23, 2020
Here is a list of bizarre hacks that came up in the pandemic. Save the list as it may bring a smile on your face in the post-pandemic world:
-Trump's Disinfectant Cure:
In April, during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, POTUS said, "So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous - whether it's ultraviolet or just very powerful light and I think you said that hasn't been checked but you're going to test it," Trump said, "And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?
This caused intense backlash from the medical fraternity with one of the disinfectant companies even warning people to not try this.
-BJP MP's 'Bhabhiji Papad':
BJP MP and Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, and Parliamentary Affairs, Arjun Ram Meghwal pitched for a particular brand of papad as a cure for the infection. The minister claimed that the ingredients of 'Bhabhiji papad' aids in the formation of coronavirus antibodies."Under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative, a papad manufacturer has come up with this product that will aid the formation of antibodies to fight the coronavirus,” the minister said in a video, “This papad will prove useful in the fight against coronavirus,” he had said. Later, Meghwal himself was detected to be Covid-19 positive.
-Bleach as Miracle Cure:
That looks like Donald Trump talking. But reports suggest that industrial levels of bleach were being sold online, and touted as a Covid-19 cure. Sold on online retailer Amazon, the chlorine dioxide solutions are being marketed under the brand name CD Kit and NatriChlor. Third-party sellers signal the bleach as a “water treatment” and include legal disclaimers that the liquid is “not marketed for internal use”.
-Mudpack Dung and Conch Shell:
Rajasthan BJP MP Sukhbir Singh Jaunapuria earlier hit the headlines when he said that a mud pack and blowing a "shankh" (conch shell) could help fight the coronavirus infection. Jaunapuria, a lawmaker from Tonk-Sawai Madhopur constituency, said that sitting in mud and blowing conch shell boosted immunity and helped the body to fight Covid-19 infection. However, he was later detected of covid-19.
MP Minister's Cow dung Cure:
Madhya Pradesh minister Imarti Devi who believes that she is immune to the infection owing to the fact that she is born in gobar (cow dung) and mitti (mud). "I am born in mud and cow dung. Corona cannot come to me," Imarti Devi, Minister of Women and Force Development of the state, said angrily while talking to the media amid rumours that she had tested positive for the virus infection earlier this month. Pointing towards her mask, which was hanging by her chin, the minister even said that she was wearing it forcefully.
-Rum and Fried Egg:
A Congress Councillor in Karnataka came up with a novel remedy to keep Covid-19 at bay by recommending rum and two half-fried eggs. Congress leader Ravichandra Gatti, who belongs to Ullal city in Mangaluru, said, "Add a teaspoonful of ground pepper in 90 ml rum and stir it well with your finger and drink it. Eat two half-fried omelettes to ensure that the coronavirus vanishes." Gatti had also said that he tried many medicines to tackle the virus and after everything failed, he's of the opinion that only rum and eggs will work.