What weird things have people said about the coronavirus?
And so, without further ado, here are some weirdest stories that we have found about the coronavirus. Sadly, this list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.
1. This Iranian cleric reckons that applying essential oils to your anus will "cure the coronavirus"
#Iran: from Qom, Ayatollah Tabrizian, who has denounced Western medicine as "un-Islamic", told his 120,000 followers on Telegram that to stave off #coronavirus, "Before bedtime, drench some cotton in violet oil and apply onto your anus". https://t.co/sfZjnb8AIc— Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) February 26, 2020
Ayatollah Tabrizian has made a few bold claims over the past few days including, by his estimation, that Western medicine is "un-Islamic". But, by far his grandest claim is that violet leaf essential oils applied to the anus will "cure" you of the coronavirus.
Why the anus?
Ayatollah Tabrizian has, in the past, written extensively on the subject of essential oils. He appears to be enamored with it and claims it has miraculous, life-enhancing properties.
He also believes it can increase brain mass and reverse cognitive diseases s Down's Syndrome.
"He cites a tradition attributed to a 12th-century Persian scholar, who described the remedy as an effective treatment for rhinitis, or throat mucus if it was 'the will of God'." - alarby.co.uk.
2. This brothel appears to have been a "hotbed" for the spread of coronavirus
It was recently reported that 86 clients from a brothel in Valencia, Spain have recently been put under quarantine after one prostitute tested positive for the coronavirus. According to police reports, the lady of the night had slept with several of the guests on the same evening, inadvertently spreading the virus.
With club owners, security and cleaning staff, waiters, other girls and clients, the total under quarantine tops out at about 119 people. This is bad enough, but authorities are also worried that the partners some of the quarantined men may be paying the brothel a visit to get some answers.
But, it should be noted, that this story has since been reported as fake news.
3. This guy was ordered to self-quarantine but went to an event instead
One of the best ways to stop the spread of any pathogen is to isolate existing sufferers from other people. And that is exactly what medical staff in New Hampshire attempted to do with their first confirmed coronavirus case.
But, apparently oblivious to the risks of contagion, they decided to go to an event across the state border in Vermont.
"State health officials said that the first coronavirus patient "attended an invitation-only private event on Friday" despite being told to stay isolated. That person has now been ordered to remain isolated and all others who came into "close contact" with them at the event were asked to stay isolated for 14 days." - NECN.
4. People have actually started selling coronavirus-themed arts and crafts on Etsy
Who??? is buying coronavirus embroidery/crochet art on etsy. I just don't understand the target audience here pic.twitter.com/ZvF0p8HkAT— Caroline Haskins (@carolineha_) March 4, 2020
What's the first thing you would think of doing during a potential killer virus pandemic? Stock up on supplies? Cancel that trip to China?
How about breaking out your arts and crafts gear to make coronavirus-themed plushies, embroidery or jewelry? Completely normal behavior.
But a more poignant question would be to ask "who is actually buying them?"
5. This Indian legislator believes cow urine is an ideal solution to the spread of coronavirus
We all know cow dung is very helpful. Likewise, when cow urine is sprayed, it purifies an area. I believe something similar could be done with cow urine, cow dung to cure #coronavirus: Assam BJP MLA Suman Haripriya— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) March 2, 2020
Swami Chakrapani Maharaj, president of Hindu Mahasabha in India, has an interesting suggestion for slowing the spread of the coronavirus. He believes that the liberal use of cow urine should be the perfect disinfectant for COVID-19.
While using cow urine in this way will probably do no harm, apart from the smell, it unlikely will prove effective. Especially since urine is not, in most cases, sterile, it does contain some bacteria.
6. Indian politicians seem to be full of ideas; could yoga be the solution?
Yet another Indian politician, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Adityanath, has another interesting solution to help fight the coronavirus. According to them, the coronavirus can be avoided if someone overcomes mental stress.
"If a person overcomes mental illness, then he/she will not suffer from blood pressure, heart attack, kidney failure, liver dysfunction, or even coronavirus. He will be able to keep himself fit and healthy,” the minister said at a yoga event in Uttarakhand.
7. Yet another guy in India with a potential coronavirus cure: cow poop
Swami Chakrapani Maharaj, president of Hindu Mahasabha in India, believes that consuming cow dung (and urine) can treat the disease. He has also claimed that anyone who chants "Om Namah Shivay," a Hindu mantra while applying cow dung to their body will also be saved.
Novel viruses require novel solutions, after all.
At this point we'd like to apologize to any Indian readers; we are not intentionally picking on your wonderful, ancient and noble country. There just appears to be a high concentration of strange coronavirus suggestions from there for some reason.
8. Chinese shoppers are hunting pharmacies for something called "Shuanghuanglian"
After an influential Chinese state media outlet, Xinhua, reported that something called "Shuanghuanglian" can "inhibit" the virus, many pharmacies are currently under siege. This, according to hindawi.com, is an intravenous preparation of honeysuckle, Scutellaria baicalensis, and Fructus forsythiae.
According to their report, the Chineses Academy of Sciences had recently discovered the health benefits of this concoction.
9. Garlic kills vampires and the coronavirus, apparently
According to various social media platforms, homebrew of garlic cloves boiled in water does "wonders" for COVID-19. Despite killing thousands of people so far, it is claimed garlic should be able to cure a coronavirus infection.
We are not sure about that, but consuming garlic is good for your health for many other reasons in any case.
10. Garlic, not your thing? Why not try small onions?
The owner explains that "according to the Siddha medicine system, small onions provide resistance to flu based diseases. So, we are offering Uthappam with small onions to the customers".
Not all heroes wear capes...
11. Dean Koontz predicted the virus back in the 1980s
And lastly, back in mid-February, there was a claim doing the rounds that author Dean Koontz predicted the coronavirus outbreak in his 1981 book "The Eyes of Darkness".
Segments of the book were shared widely on social media showing eerie similarities between COVID-19 and the book's fictional virus called "Wuhan-400." But this claim has since been debunked.
But there is something interesting about this story. Apparently prior to 2008, the virus was called "Gorki-400" prior to the current version's apparent rebranding of it.
“We’re not entirely sure when or why this change occurred. From what we can tell, the biological weapon was originally called ‘Gorki-400’ when this book was published in 1981. But by 2008, the name had been changed to ‘Wuhan-400.’” - Snopes.
The plot thickens...