- This guy’s corona plan really flopped
- But why didn’t the Metro point out the really stupid thing about this story?
- Another example of mainstream media making things worse
Life is moving a lot slower than usual…
Back in mid-March I wrote about panic-buying hand sanitiser.
Seems like an AGE ago now… like a bygone era before the lockdown happened… when you could have a pint or coffee with a friend and just “nip to the shops” to get things you needed.
At that time, a minority of people had decided that they were going to grab as much as they could before things got bad.
In particular, hand sanitisers, wipes and soaps.
I wrote there was not much point in clearing the shelves to look after yourself…
Because then OTHER people wouldn’t have any hand sanitiser to kill the virus, therefore spreading Covid-19 more quickly.
This is one of those occasions when it’s obvious that looking after the greater good is better for the individual in the end.
So many times (too many times) we’re told it’s the other way round.
Anyway, that email in which I griped about panic-buying was sent out on 13th March.
Three days later, newspapers reported on a man named Noah Colvin in Tennessee.
A guy whose corona plan seriously flopped
At the first news of a death from the virus in the USA, he leapt into his car and drove around town buying up as many hand sanitisers and anti-bacterial wipes as he could.
His brother, an Amazon seller, prepared the listings so they could capitalise on selling the products at a mark-up.
Noah amassed a total of 18,000 items in just three days!
They managed to get 300 sold on Amazon at between $8 and $70 a go.
But then there was a crackdown on profiteering from hand sanitiser.
No more selling ordinary items from the high street at extraordinary mark-ups online.
Which meant that Noah and his brother were left with 17,700 bottles of unsalable sanitiser and thousands of packets of anti-bacterial wipes.
This was reported in the Metro, where Noah was pictured looking very disgruntled next to a lockup full of soap.
Here’s the thing though…
What the Metro didn’t mention was that the stupidest thing about the story was this pandemic is a virus, not bacteria.
Therefore the anti-bacterial cleaners were of no use anyway.
Another example of mainstream media making things worse
The mainstream media tends to do a poor job of picking up on important details like that, which further spreads incorrect information.
The BBC ran another story more recently about profiteering and they ALSO talked about a bestselling “anti-bacterial hand sanitiser” without commenting on the bacterial vs viral issue.
I know the story was about profiteering, not the effectiveness of the sanitisers, but they could have pointed out that Covid-19 is a virus.
By buying an anti-bacterial cleanser people were buying the wrong product and the BBC were perpetuating this by not giving the full story.
So it is worth clarifying…
Covid-19 is what is known as an “enveloped virus”.
The viral bit is the RNA (nucleic acid) and is coated in a fatty layer called a lipid.
This layer can be dissolved by soap and also alcohol-based hand sanitisers.
Bacterial wipes and soaps are fine, but they aren’t worth seeking out or spending any extra money on, as they don’t offer any extra help.
If you’re going to buy wipes, check the pathogens against which the wipe is active (you’ll see the details on the back of the packet or online). That way you can see if it’s worth your extra money.
However, like many popular antiseptic creams they’re usually antibacterial rather than antiviral and therefore not quite right for the job.
The scientific literature says that only hand sprays with very high alcohol content can be effective against viral pathogens.
If your hand spray has a very high alcohol content it will protect your skin from contaminants after you touch shop door handles, work surfaces, handrails and pets.
In addition look out for formulations which contain natural ingredients that are known to be antiviral such as:
- Pelargonium sidoides (African geranium) – a plant-derived pharmaceutical shown in NHS trials to be highly effective against viral strains, including those responsible for respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis. The National Center for Biotechnology Information in the United States also recommends this plant extract as an anti-viral treatment.
- Calendula officinalis (Pot Marigold) – a widely used herbal remedy to help wounds heal on skin that has been exposed to environmental stress and friction.
- Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree oil) – this has been used for centuries to treat skin conditions such as small wounds, insect bites and small boils and is the plant on which New Zealand bees feed to produce Manuka Honey. The [EMA] supports these claims as well as its use to help treat Athlete’s Foot fungal infections.
- Commiphora molmol (Myrrh) – laboratory studies have shown myrrh preparations to have antibacterial, local anaesthetic and anti-inflammatory effects.
- Thymus vulgaris (Thyme) – in addition to providing a delightful fragrance, this herb offers relief from chesty coughs associated with colds as supported by evidence from the European Medicines Agency ([EMA]).
As for the ongoing lockdown, I hope you’re keeping well and in good spirits. I’ll keep finding as much information as I can to help you over the coming weeks.