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Roquefort may be delicious, but it doesn't cure coronavirus
Roquefort may be delicious, but it doesn't cure coronavirus

As the coronavirus has spread across the world, so too have an array of fake remedies and cures that promise to protect people. Social media have been flooded with claims about foods, products and other assorted concoctions that can allegedly cure or prevent the virus. Up to the point that the World Health Organization had to issue warnings about such myths. Needless to say, they vary by location, culture and tradition — but no matter where you live, don't follow these faux cures at home:

  • French cheese: A Facebook post that was widely shared suggested that "Penicillium Roqueforti", the mold used to make Roquefort, the French blue cheese, was used by professor Didier Raoult in the creation of chloroquine and tested by the French physician in the fight against coronavirus, Le Monde reports. The author of the post himself admitted later on that his post was a "positive ‘fake news'" to add a "touch of humor in this difficult time" as well as to promote Roquefort.

Bananas to fight the virus? — Screenshot

  • Bananas: A video entitled "A banana a day keeps the coronavirus away" circulated online, which appeared to be a report promoting bananas as a way to improve the immune system thanks to fruit's concentration of vitamin B6. The video turned out to be a mix of two reports from an Australian television channel and The Wall Street Journal which didn't mention bananas at all.

  • Cow urine: In India, a group of Hindu activists organized a "cow urine drinking party" in an attempt to ward off the virus, The Wire reports. Hindus consider the cow sacred and some believe that the animal's urine, called "Gomutra", has medicinal properties.

  • Garlic: It may be of the most mentioned fake health tips online and despite the fact that there is no evidence that eating raw garlic protects people from the virus, the myth seems to endure. TheThe South China Morning Post reported the case of a woman who, after eating around 1.5 kilograms of garlic over two weeks, needed hospital treatment as her throat was inflamed to the point she could no longer speak.

  • Vodka to herbal remedy: While Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko have been encouraging its citizens to drink vodka, Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina has launched "Covid-Organics', a herbal tea to cure the virus. According to RFI, the decoction will be sold in supermarkets and pharmacies and some students who were going back to school will be required to take it.


For the coming weeks, Worldcrunch will be delivering daily updates on the coronavirus pandemic from the best, most trusted international news sources — regardless of language or geography. To receive the daily Coronavirus global brief in your inbox, sign up here.

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How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

American and Southwest Airlines have been refusing to allow Cubans on board flights if they've been blacklisted by the government in Havana.

How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

Boarding a plane in Camaguey, Cuba

Santiago Villa

On Sunday, American Airlines refused to let Cuban writer Carlos Manuel Álvarez board a Miami flight bound for Havana. It was at least the third time this year that a U.S. airline refused to let Cubans on board to return to their homeland after Havana circulated a government "blacklist" of critics of the regime. Clearly undemocratic and possibly illegal under U.S. law, the airlines want to make sure to cash in on a lucrative travel route, writes Colombian journalist Santiago Villa:

-OpEd-

Imagine for a moment that you left your home country years ago because you couldn't properly pursue your chosen career there. It wasn't easy, of course: Your profession is not just singularly demanding, but even at the top of the game you might not be assured a stable or sufficient income, and you've had to take on second jobs, working in bars and restaurants.

This chosen vocation is that of a writer or journalist, or perhaps an artist, which has kept you tied to your homeland, often the subject of your work, even if you don't live there anymore.

Since leaving, you've been back home several times, though not so much for work. Because if you did, you would be followed in cars and receive phone calls to let you know you are being watched.

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