Do not ingest chemicals

Having more common sense during these trying times is more than required


Michelle Zhang

Shelves at stores are left empty as disinfectant and cleaning supplies are sold. Following directed forms of use is highly recommended.

Michelle Zhang, Opinions Editor

COVID-19 has brought out people’s characteristics, whether it be generosity through making and donating face masks, or a new wave of supporting local businesses. COVID-19 has also displayed people’s willingness to stay alive, whether it be obliging to stay at home orders or going as far as ingesting chemicals as a “miracle cure” for coronavirus.

Leading up to this, President Donald Trump stated at a daily news briefing “I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? As you see, it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.” This was soon interpreted by the public as a treatment instead of a possibility, but even then, a Homeland Security official later stated laboratories are not considering seeking such a treatment option. 

After Trump’s remark about disinfectant, states such as New York City experienced a spike in poison control center calls, so much so, the city’s health commissioner had to release a message — after the poison control center recorded 30 cases regarding exposure to household cleaners and bleach — discouraging citizens from ingesting products. This blows my mind considering the big fat warning label on cleaning products telling users not to consume substances. But even then, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported “During January–March 2020, poison centers received 45,550 exposure calls related to cleaners (28,158) and disinfectants (17,392), representing overall increases of 20.4% and 16.4% from January–March 2019 (37,822) and January–March 2018 (39,122), respectively.” Of course, these numbers account for cases across all age groups, but this increase in cases — especially from January to March of 2020 — holds some correlation with our ever evolving pandemic. 

Lysol’s manufacturer also released a statement saying “we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route),” even though warning labels are displayed prominently on packaging with a poison control center number. This to me was a gruesome reminder of the desperation and lengths people are willing to go in order to cure themselves of COVID-19. Yet partaking in these actions as a full functioning adult is ignorant and foolish — especially since the Tide Pod challenge of 2018 was deemed as idiotic and insane. It’s interesting to see the parallels detergent and disinfectant companies made regarding their statements of “do not consume” in 2018 and 2020.

It astonishes me how some individuals do not listen to health professionals and guidance regarding the pandemic at hand. Certainly, feeling a need to protect one’s self and others is completely valid, but taking extreme measures such as ingesting chemicals is obscene, especially when there is a great emphasis on “use as directed”. The best thing anyone can do for themselves is seek out help, particularly if there is concern of infection.