The desi guide to beating coronavirus, according to WhatsApp forwards

The desi guide to beating coronavirus, according to WhatsApp forwards

Drink hot water, bake in the sun, and hold your breath for 20 seconds to self-test for the virus? We debunk it all.
Updated 23 Mar, 2020

As increased cases of coronavirus are being reported across the globe, there is a rising panic amongst people who would do almost anything to save themselves from the pandemic - except quarantine themselves and stop eating out, meeting friends, and of course, attending the decade-long wedding season. But of course, I digress.

While many research preventative measures and even look up care in case any symptoms pop up - again, though stay home please! - some have decided to share information that they really shouldn't.

The WhatsApp forwards have arisen with more vigour than before as odd messages started circulating giving the most random desi totkay and all we're thinking is boy, that was fast.

Just take a look at this forward allegedly by UNICEF (It's not).

As if reasoning with our elders about taking COVID-19 seriously wasn't difficult enough, now we need to tell them swallowing a clove of garlic won't fix it? Pay us for our emotional labour!

Lucky for you (or 'unfortunately' if you were too hopeful), we're here to filter out the silly content and let you know what's what. Wash your hands and don't spread coronavirus or lies about coronavirus.

First of all, don't self check

Let us just end this silly notion right here. There is no way to self test for COVID-19. There is a proper test that diagnoses whether you have the disease and holding your breath for 20 seconds isn't it. You're checking for the coronavirus, not joining the Olympics swim team... which got cancelled... sorry.

Onions, onions everywhere!

The most viral in all 'cures' that has been circulating internationally is the mighty wonders of onions. We get it, onions are packed with nutrients and antioxidants and are known to have antibacterial properties.

But does that mean it's the cure for coronavirus? Not at all. It's great for boosting your immunity but it is not the solution to the now global pandemic.

And seriously, leaving chopped onions around the house will only make you cry. Don't do that to yourself.

Like onion, like garlic

Garlic is being celebrated as the cure for COVID-19, especially a recipe of boiled garlic water. Garlic, like onions, has healthy properties but can it miraculously cure the virus that has infected thousands and also proven fatal?

The fact that we have to clarify saying no is the real surprise here.

Moms do love haldi doodh

Ah yes, haldi doodh... golden milk... turmeric latte... the drink known to solve many ailments. Alas, there are absolutely no reports confirming that this can help coronavirus.

Sure, should you develop body aches as a worrisome symptom - possibly from the fever - this will help alleviate the pain.

Dhoop galore?

We're guessing this one stems from the theory that COVID-19 won't spread in warmer climate, which has been debunked by the World Health Organisation.

The sun is a great source of vitamin D - as long as you have your sunscreen on - but it will not burn the corona off you. This isn't a vampire situation nor a jadoo situation.

All you'll get is a gorgeous tan... a bronzed look... maybe we will be standing in the sun for a while... for the glow.

No need to be salty

Gargling and rinsing your mouth with salt water is known to have a lot of benefits, including relieving a sore or scratchy throat and removing phlegm build up. But can it get rid of the coronavirus? No, no, it can not. Your gums will thank you though.

Hydrate yoselves for yoselves!

So from the few forwards we've gotten, if you drink enough water, you'll flush out the virus. Extra points if you drink hot water to kill the virus and let its dead body be flushed out. That's not how it works folks.

It's always good to hydrate yourselves. In case you get a fever, you will need to replenish your electrolytes. But that it'll work like some detox brand - which are all highly questionable anyway - is a concept that needs to be snuffed.

Fact: follow official updates

You can tell by now these totkay aren't the miracle cures we're all hoping for. For now, how about we stick to following official updates from reputable organisations such as the CDC website and the World Health Organisation?

Seriously, to all those making up these messages, please stop


Furrukh Rao Mar 19, 2020 06:06pm
Anti-Corruption_Pakistani Mar 19, 2020 06:37pm
Keep away from fake 'Mirs' and don't waste your time and money. Instead, take precutionary measures suggested by WHO - i.e. wash your hands thoroughly, avoid touching each other and outdoor activities, don't panic and have full faith on our creator, etc.
Shan Mar 19, 2020 06:39pm
Please arrest Baba Bangoli and publicize it.
fairplay Mar 19, 2020 06:50pm
jail all the quacks who publicize their name and address in these street ads. ban any advertising by them for 6 months-they are a public health hazard.
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Mar 19, 2020 06:50pm
This is all about fake, fraud and false people striving hard to make a quick buck by befooling and defrauding the naive, vulnerable and immature masses.
Al Mar 19, 2020 06:52pm
what about the all protective WUZU! There is a rumour floating around that if you are in wuzu then the virus doesn't hit you. What a mockery of religion!
Anti-Corruption_Pakistani Mar 19, 2020 07:26pm
Tugg babas' - put them behind bars for a long time!
Changez Khan Mar 19, 2020 07:46pm
Arrest this conman Baba and put him behind bars.
Bhaijan Mar 19, 2020 08:48pm
Coronavirus is like other viruses. It comes and go. But Corona is more lethal in nature. In 2003, 2012, Coronavirus did surface, but not so lethal as of today. As regards alternative treatment yes there are many in Ayurvedic, as well as in Homeopathic. It depends on the trust patient has in alternative treatments. These days it’s better to remain away from crowded places, keep clean, wash hands face 5 times a day. And stay warm.
Nk Mar 19, 2020 09:52pm
I am 58 living in US. This ad I have seen since my younger days. I and you can just imagine how many of us have been fooled but they are still living and practicing among us without being stopped or rooted out. Such a shame.
Mumtaz Ahmed Shah Mar 19, 2020 11:27pm
Distance from these fake and cheaters “Bangli Baba”take precautionary measures to defeat “Coronavirus”(Texas)
Pplaris Mar 20, 2020 12:20am
Very sad to see that these kind of people are still allowed to fool many.
Laila Mar 20, 2020 05:36am
I have noticed the same trend on public social media accounts, comments and it paints an unfortunate picture of the ignorance rampant in our nation. People are so lazy they can't even be bothered to gooogle the symptoms or the precautions being followed worldwide unstead relying on these unproven"remedies" and of course prayer. Why is there such opposition among our people to know this threat sweeping across nations and continents? It literally takes a few seconds to search and read online. Information is available in all languages. Very frustrating.
Imtiaz Ali Khan Mar 20, 2020 11:36am
What kind of tareqaa what a joke!
Laila Mar 21, 2020 08:29am
This sort of deliberate misleading and espousing ignorance that threatens lives and health of the masses should be illegal and be punishable by jail time.
Jitendra Singh Mar 21, 2020 11:53am
Some of these suggestions,do not claim to cure but help to improve immunity and add to measure such as frequently washing hands and social distancing. Onion ,garlic , ginger and turmeric have proven antibacterial ,anti viral and anti inflammatory properties which helps your immune system to fight Corona in a better ways than without. I gives enough time to you before you go to doctors if symptoms persist.
ambreen Mar 22, 2020 04:37am
Start staying home ALWAYS when sick to avoid passing any germ to others who dont need it !
Laila Mar 22, 2020 04:12pm
With Google just a click away, it is amazing this nation of ours is still dumbed down by these forwards bethat on social media, sms or rumour mills and people uncritically promoting ignorance by not questioning the validity or veracity of the information. No wonder we have so muchignorance and misinformation and its costing lives. Stop this. Fine these people and paint over these public wall writings.