Since the coronavirus crisis first hit the U.S., there have been a lot of wacky and dangerous conspiracy theories and myths floating around.
First, there’s the DEBUNKED tired myth that 5G waves are weakening our immune systems and are somehow linked to this pandemic (Absolutely not Keri Hilson and Michael Che). Then during the T-Pain vs Lil Jon Instagram battle, Jonathan revealed his hotep tendencies by encouraging folks to not take a coronavirus vaccine if and when it comes out (Sir, vaccines save lives, meanwhile Dr. Sebi’s lemons can’t save us.) Oh, and let’s not forget Nicole Murphy talking about how making a pot of herbs and fruits might protect her from contracting the disease (Sis, washing your hands, social distancing and cleaning off surfaces is the best protection we got, not dried up leaves in boiling water.)
But the one that really made me laugh was that lauded that putting a blow dryer up your nose can somehow kill the ‘Rona.
Apparently, some now-taken down videos on YouTube and Facebook were floating around last month and had the streets talking, with “people storm[ing] to social media platforms, including TikTok and Twitter, to either test out or share this claim,” Yahoo reported.
What’s really scary is that this nonsense is being spewed by elected officials too. According to the Fort Meyers Press last month an elected official, Florida’s Okeechobee County Commissioner Bryant Culpepper, said in an emergency meeting that because our nasal passages—one of the main way this virus can be transmitted from person to person—were “the coolest part of the body,” therefore virus settled there before going to the lungs.
Therefore, “heating up those nasal passages will kill COVID-19,” which can be done by turning on your blow dryer, holding it up to your face and inhaling. Culpepper also stressed that this wasn’t fake news from social media, because “there’s a lot of baloney out there on social media.” SMH.
So here’s the deal: NONE OF THIS IS TRUE. That’s not how the science of the virus works. First, as the New York Times pointed out “it appears that [coronavirus] can survive in hot temperatures (and in cold temperatures.” That, and as the Fort Meyers Press noted, according to the World Health Organization “myth busters” page, “hand dryers will not kill the coronavirus. [So] if hot air can’t kill the virus on your hands, why would it work any better up your nose?”
Even worse, all that hot air can hurt you.
“You could easily burn or more likely cause superficial damage to your eye, nose, and mouth lining by trying to breath in hot air, which promptly damages your first line of defense against infection — an intact lining,” Jill Grimes, MD, urgent care physician and author of The ULTIMATE College Health Handbook, told Yahoo last month.
Look, we understand that this crisis is scary AF and many of us, especially us Black folks who don’t necessarily have a lot of trust in our government and the medical community, with good reason. Not to mention, every day we turn on the news, there are reports after reports of people tragically dying, which makes this all more real and terrifying. But relying on myths and rejecting science won’t protect us; it will only further push into harm’s way.
If you want to really protect yourself, here’s what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests we do: STAY AT HOME, wash your hands a lot, avoid touching your face, practice social distancing (6ft. apart please), cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze to protect others around you and disinfecting surfaces often.
So please save your hair dryer for your next at-home blow out, not a way to cure the ‘Rona.
Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.