The Weirdest Treatments for COVID-19

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Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

I get it. We’re all desperate. Including many scientists. Since the pandemic started all kinds of things have been touted as potential cures for COVID-19. Some of these are obviously fake, but some of them might actually work. So, here are some of the very strangest things I’ve found touted as treatments.

Llama Blood

This one’s actually for real! Llamas and other camelids produce interesting immune molecules called nanobodies, that can very efficiently fight off disease.

So, scientists have been infecting llamas with SARS-CoV-2 (they don’t get sick) to get them to make these nanobodies, which could then be synthesized and used to both treat and prevent COVID-19. Or turn us all into llamas, whatever.

Gargling with Saltwater

Some so-called experts said that gargling with saltwater could kill the coronavirus.

The answer to whether it kills the virus is a resounding no.

However, if you have a sore throat, regardless of cause, a saltwater gargle may help you feel better.

Inhaling Steam

Kind of the same note here. Inhaling steam will not cure the coronavirus, and may end up burning your nose.

However, breathing in a tent over steaming water can help with sinus congestion. Sadly, this is not a common symptom of COVID-19.


Going out in the sun will not keep you from getting COVID-19, although it’s probably good for all of us to get out some anyway.

Oh, and no, a UV tanning bed will not cure COVID, just increase your risk of skin cancer.

Snorting Cocaine

All I have to say on this one is, just say no. Please don’t. Don’t risk a lifelong drug addiction, and it doesn’t work anyway.

Nicotine Patches

Why is smoking not as much of a risk factor as it “should” be? Because apparently, nicotine is somewhat protective. Or not. Some scientists have been trying it. Some have been saying nope.

And nicotine patches could get you addicted.

Estrogen for Guys

Yeah, they are literally trying giving infected men estrogen, because women are more likely to recover.

Unfortunately, infection and symptom patterns in kids may indicate that the issue is not not enough estrogen, but too much testosterone. Sorry, guys.

Horse Wormer

Farm supply stores had to stop selling the standard horse wormer ivermectin to new customers after early indications that it might be effective against COVID-19. (Ivermectin is also used to treat head lice and certain other parasites).

Needless to say, don’t self medicate with horse wormer. At the dosage needed to be effective in a 1,000 pound animal the stuff is pretty toxic and could make you go permanently blind.

Colloidal Silver

A classic quack cure for all that ails you. Of course it’s coming up in connection to COVID-19.

It doesn’t actually cure any ailments at all as far as we know. And if you take too much of it it can turn you blue.


No, dogs can’t cure or treat COVID-19. But what they might be able to do is detect it better than anything else we have. Over the next few months, expect to see sniffer dogs patrolling airports and picking out infected people…likely including people who don’t even have symptoms.

What’s the real cure? We don’t know. But some of these things might work. Others? Yeah, just don’t.

And don’t self-medicate with anything.

Except dogs. Dogs are good for everything that ails the mind.

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Freelance writer, freelance editor, novelist and short story writer. Jack of many trades.

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