I solemnly swear that I am up to no good, or: how the internet plans to defeat Coronavirus

The generosity of mankind is unmeasurable.


During these mirthless times, DoctorsinItaly received a large number of thoughtful, heartwarming messages from all over the world from patients who had received help via our platform and still kindly remember us.

Even people that we have never personally met decided to send a message of solidarity, and we are grateful for their genuine care and affection. 

Along with those letters, we got quite a few from mysterious philanthropists, suggesting miraculous homemade treatments for the new COVID-19.

Covid 19 treatment bedtime stories

Things that “my mum’s aunty Mary used to do” can be beyond dangerous!

DoctorsinItaly is a platform created by and for medical professionals. We believe it’s absolutely necessary to abstain from providing and sharing information which is based on personal thoughts or traditional/popular methods. 

Well-meaning strangers offering hearsay cures and snake-oil smugglers are equally dangerous in this case, so remember to always check the sources, and think twice before spreading poor advice like a virus.

How do you tell if your source is reliable, you ask? 

Well, for starters, if they write about “karonavirus”, “corna virus”, or “caranavirus”, then most likely not.

We received these “tips” (really not sure what we should call them) as private messages on our socials, however, online resources are swamped with tips from contemporary Florence Nightingale and Alexander Fleming wannabes, dispensing advice, and feeling like Jesus in the temple.

This humorous post is an attempt to raise awareness regarding fake news, alleged treatments, and pseudoscience that you may read about online, which only expose people to unnecessary risks.

Would you ever imagine that you need a degree to be a doctor? Check this out.

Here's some "wisdom" from strangers

It goes without saying that the following “tips” are shared ironically, they are in no way endorsed by us, nor by any healthcare professional, and must not be taken seriously.

How to (NOT) avoid getting infected:

“Eating garlic will prevent the infection of Coronavirus”.  

Garlic is indeed a healthy food with antimicrobial properties, but there is no evidence that it can stop people from getting the new virus. It will help with social distancing though! 

“Ginger makes you immune” – the root, not the haircolor!

Yes, it is an amazing ingredient that we’ve come to love, it can help with nausea and sore throat. However it can hardly prevent a viral infection of any kind, and there is no scientific study linking it with even reduced chances of infection, let alone making anyone immune. It may, however, counteract the garlic effect from the aforementioned remedy.

“I can easily make my own antibacterial at home!” 

Feeling magical Mr. Potter? You better be aware that mixing different types of products, without knowing the effect is extremely dangerous because toxic substances and dangerous reactions may be produced. Do you remember cola and candies? That can happen to your house. If you feel like “cooking” some sanitiser, get your instructions from a source that won’t blow up your kitchen. 

“Taking a hot bath will protect me from the disease”

It will relax your sore muscles and make you feel better but, unfortunately, there is no evidence that a hot bath/shower will protect anyone from catching the virus. On a positive note, a bath can protect you from smelling. 


A hot bath is always a good idea...

“Exposing yourself to the sun or temperature above 25° will protect you from COVID-19” – paired with “bathing in the sea”. 

Honestly speaking we would love to have this kind of prescription: lay in the sun for at least 6 hours a day, preferably on a Caribbean island, keep yourself hydrated and, before bedtime, consume 1 to 3 alcoholic drinks. Sadly, drinking piña colada on the beach while having a bath and a bit of a tan is not scientifically proven to prevent the disease (yet).


“Alcoholic drinks prevent Coronavirus”. 

Yes, we said Alcohol! Another myth claims that if you consume alcohol frequently you will be “immune” to the virus. Be careful with that! Drinking alcohol will not only fail to reduce the chance of getting Coronavirus but also increase the risk of developing serious diseases such as cancer and heart problems. The only help you get is in forgetting why you are in quarantine and acting dumb in public… Still think booze is a good idea?


“Meditate your way out of Coronavirus”. 

Meditation – another good tip for forgetting your troubles – is hardly a shield from the evil virus. Now close your eyes, focus on a world free from COVID-19. Take a deep breath, slowly release and relax. Now, open your eyes – we regret to inform you that the virus is still here. Are you still meditating about it?              

meditate for coronavirus
Mind over matter
How to self-diagnose your COVID-19 infection… NOT:

“If I hold my breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or having any discomfort, it means that I don’t have the virus”.

More fake news! Only the laboratory test can confirm the diagnosis. It only means that if you fall into a puddle, you won’t drown. Do not despair – if you train well you may still become a successful member of the national free-diving team. 

How to treat the virus, if the miracle remedies above didn’t grant you invulnerability:

Oil it up!

From the furthest land of India, a generous and kind adventurer, highly recommended applying this fairy potion (camphor oil, to be specific) “to cure” the new coronavirus. Regrettably, yet again, this massage oil is not scientifically approved as a coronavirus treatment, although our researchers would surely appreciate a massage!


The turnip-head

Here is a story from Iran: “when the patient has the virus, we boil “turnip” “. Please find the recipe below: 

  • Ingredients: 1 Turnip
  • Serves: 4
  • Level: Easy
  • Cooking time: Enough for the turnip to be cooked (yes, these are the precise instructions that we received). 
  • Preparation: After cooking, put the turnip under a cloth. The patient dives under the cloth and inhales the precious hot steam. 

Coronavirus will dissolve in a whiff.

Dear Sir, thank you so much. In the era of a constant, universal struggle to find toilet paper, can you please point me in the direction of the closest turnip during quarantine? Asking for a friend.


Bakers and shakers

Do you use baking soda for cooking? For cleaning? As a digestive? Perhaps to catch bad smells in your fridge? Well, based on the latest research done by a guy in his basement, you can also make use of baking soda in the fight against COVID-19. Mix it with water and enjoy the elixir, simple as that. Cheers! Kampai! Salute! This wonderous discovery has certainly been peer-reviewed on the International Journal of Mumbo Jumbo.

Muffin agains covid-19
Call us immediately if you choose to bake muffins instead!

The weed of all evil

Juncus maritimus! No, it’s not a Harry Potter spell that will turn your enemies into frogs. It’s the real name of a plant, a northern cousin of the sea rush. This famous shrub is supposed to be the cure for Papillomavirus, according to an Algerian gentleman. He advised us to include this magical herb in the wide range of treatments for the novel COVID-19. However, the precise recipe is yet to be discovered. Petrificus totalus!

We hope that reading this little post put a smile on your face.

We would like to highlight again that DoctorsinItaly is by no means treating this terrible situation which is currently affecting the world lightheartedly.

We understand that the omnipresent feeling of fear is real.

Covid-19 is not a cold or common flu; we cannot risk our health by taking advice from improvised health professionals and hearsay!

Countless researchers, doctors, and scientists are sacrificing their own health and their families’ happiness to provide us all with a brighter future, so please refer to reliable sources. 

Put your trust in your favourite scientific sources. Together we can move forward and progress is better than miracles.

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DoctorsinItaly Team

This article was written, curated, and updated by the DoctorsinItaly team, as part of our efforts to share relevant and current information on health and wellness related topics, as well as on life as an expat or traveler in Italy.
A special thanks goes to Flavia Mastrolorenzi for collecting the "tips" and to Anita Walencik for her help.