PSA: If someone on WhatsApp tells you that going number one in a cup and drinking it can cure COVID-19, they’re probably full of number two.
The unfortunate reason this needs to be said goes back to an anonymous mom in the U.K. She and her family made headlines for drinking their own urine for four days, because she believed it was a natural remedy to the novel coronavirus. There’s no proof anything but the vaccine is effective against the virus.
A British health report on people living in central west London, notes that the woman was told about the fake cure through videos shared by a trusted loved one on WhatsApp. This person had apparently been the source of most of her information about COVID-19.
The mom, an anti-vaxxer who erroneously thought Bill and Melinda Gates were maliciously rolling out vaccines— another COVID-19 myth that’s spread during the pandemic — thought getting her children to drink urine would be safer than the shot.
“Some of the videos she received discussed drinking your own urine each morning as a cure for COVID-19. The participant said that she and her children did that for four days,” the report stated.
The vaccine is safe to get and drinking your own pee in the short-run is mostly harmless, albeit unnecessary unless you’re facing severe dehydration and don’t have a clean water supply.
“Some of the videos she received discussed drinking your own urine each morning as a cure for COVID-19. The participant said that she and her children did that for four days.”
Ingesting silver, bleach and oregano oil are among the many fake COVID-19 remedies touted over the last year. Drinking urine is outlandish, but not unheard of; some online claimed that cow urine had anti-coronavirus properties.
While these examples are on the extreme side, vaccine hesitancy is an issue affecting many communities in Canada.
Two-thirds of Canadians trust the vaccine, according to a recent survey. Health agencies are working to reach those that don’t, for reasons that span from historically-backed government distrust and medical racism to faith in rampant COVID-19 misinformation.
Canadians can also play a role in fighting misinformation through conversations with concerned loved ones. And it can’t hurt to be extra clear: bathroom-related conspiracy theories are to be avoided.
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