Sometimes Prevention Is Worse Than the Cure

The Coronavirus enters the human body through the Nose and the Throat. It then passes through to the lungs where it multiplies and causes most of its symptoms.

Since the Virus enters through the Nose and Throat people have developed the most innovative ideas on ways to stay safe from the virus, and since I am an ENT specialist the ill effects of these misadventures are seen by me when I examine them.

Patient 1 – Suresh

Doc- Suresh your tongue is so yellow- what have you been doing?

Suresh- Doc I drink Haldi-dood throughout the day – the Haldi is an antiseptic and keeps my throat safe.

Explanation- Sure Haldi is an antiseptic – but it was of great value during the time of hunter-gatherers when our knowledge of Science was rudimentary. After thousands of years of progress and research we cannot depend solely on this ancient wisdom. 

Patient 2 – Sunita

Doc- Sunita your mouth is all burnt up inside with ulcers and inflammation. How did this happen?

Sunita- Sorry Doctor – there were so many messages on WhatsApp that we should drink hot water and gargle with hot saline water so I was doing just that.

Since the virus does not tolerate heat well, the collective wisdom tells us that if we drink hot water or gargle with hot saline we will be safe from the virus. 

Explanation- The house is free from the virus- putting hot water into the mouth will only help to burn the delicate mucosa inside leading to painful ulcers and inflammation.  Fortunately for us there is strong evidence that gargling with diluted povidone-iodine even for a few seconds sterilizes our oral cavity. This is helpful not so much for laypersons as for dental and medical establishments where patients who could be harbouring the virus in their mouth could be made safe for examination. 

Patient 3 – Saurabh 

Saurabh-Doctor my nasal passage is burning and the skin on my nose is peeling off.

Doc- How did this happen?

Saurabh- Doctor I have been doing Steam Inhalation all through the day – every hour or so.

Explanation – There is no reason to go overboard with doing inhalation all through the day. in case of nasal congestion, sinus issues, or a mild cough you can steam up once at night before going to bed- for about 5-7 minutes.

Patient 4- Soumya

Doc- Soumya I see a lot of allergic patches over your oral mucosa- what happened?

Soumya- Doc my mother is making me drink strong ‘Kadha’ all through the day – it is heavily spiced – I don’t even know what it contains.

Explanation – I have never drunk ‘Kadha’ in my life so I have no personal experience. I asked some friends as well as checked it up on the net. It seems there is no standard recipe – it may contain tea leaves, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, peppercorn, cloves, bay leaves, honey, gur,  etc. 

Wow! At a time when all my patients tell me that they have stopped eating spicy food, we are adding all this stuff and drinking it with hot water? 

Why?

India is the second-worst affected nation in the world – after the USA. So obviously whatever we have been doing is not right. 

Among the least affected countries in the world are Vietnam and Thailand. 

So if what we eat or drink is going to make the virus go away maybe we should all switch to Noodle Soup or Fried Noodles?

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