Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”. A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep, and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.
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While the new Covid-19 variant Omicron is spreading its wings around the world, we bring to you some of the weirdest claims or studies around detection and prevention of coronavirus.
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!
Now if you’re curious to know what these things are all about, let’s dive in straight:
1. Bhabhiji Papad
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.
2. Air purifier necklace
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.
3. Glowing masks
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!
4. Anti-corona fabric
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.
5. Chewing gum
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!
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