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Living with the fear of Covid-19 is the new normal. This pandemic has exerted enormous pressure on life, and turned around how we live and work around it. Businesses shut down, countries imposed prolonged lockdowns, leaving people at home in almost uncertainty. While scientists have been at it, trying to come up with vaccines, diagnosis, and cures to fight the pandemic, some innovations have us saying “What???” in surprise!
While papad is a crisp condiment in every Indian thali that can burst flavours in your mouth, an Indian minister made ‘unscientific’ claims about it. In July 2020, a viral video featured Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal claiming that a certain ‘Bhabhiji Papad’ contained ingredients that can help develop antibodies against Covid-19. Wait for an unexpected turn! He tested Covid positive within two weeks of his outlandish claim.
Claiming to eliminate dust, pollutants and even viruses from the air, small wearable air purifiers became the talk of the town. More so after Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte flaunted one on his visit to India. These tiny air purifiers work by emitting thousands of ions into the air that stick pollutants and viruses around them with a static charge. A study by the Innovative Research Groups of the National Natural Science Foundation of China found that these wearable air purifiers do not provide much-needed protection against the deadly Covid-19.
Basking in the UV light, coronavirus is claimed to glow when someone wears this mask developed by Japanese researchers. Even though it may sound bizarre, the news is abuzz with this product – a mask filter coated with an ostrich’s antibodies. The weird coating on masks is based on the fact that these giant birds have a strong resistance to diseases. Since the research is still in motion, we are yet to know if they really work!
Cashing on the Covid-19 fear, many big fish in the clothing industry introduced their ‘anti-corona’ fabrics in the market. The companies claimed their fabrics are coated with special ‘viroblock’ technology that immediately kills the virus that comes in contact with it. However, according to reports, medical experts dismissed these claims by calling them marketing gimmicks.
Chewing gums for fresh breath is passé perhaps! So, a few researchers in Pennsylvania decided to develop a chewing gum that traps the novel coronavirus present in an infected person’s mouth. Though the research on the effectiveness of this plant-based gum is in its early stages, chewing gum as Covid-19 cure seems like a distant, but tasty dream!
The last words
While scientists and medical experts will continue to explore, create and market technological innovations to fight Covid-19, let us practice the basics. Don’t forget to wash and sanitise your hands, practice safe and social distancing and wear a mask!