A few caveats.
There are helpful people and communities with trustworthy suggestions and advice.
And then are other ‘experts’ who just have to tell the audience inside a theatre that’s on fire exactly where they think the exit doors are, even though they don’t actually know where the exit doors are.
No need to be a ‘Doubting Thomas.’ But be careful out there. And don’t believe everything that you hear.
Chlorine dioxide is antiviral. It was also the first poison gas used in WWI. It’s used to sterilize many things, but its germicidal value is due to its being in direct contact with the virus. Most antivirals (including the body’s own interferons) work on cell mechanisms exploited by the virus , not directly on the virus itself. This would require almost impossible to achieve concentrations that would likely have serious side effects. Soldiers crippled by chlorine gas in WWI had lung scarring. Think about it.
Silver is similar. Great antimicrobial (back in the day silver nitrate drops were placed in the eyes of the newborn to protect against gonnorhea infection from the mom) but silver is also a contact antimicrobial, concentrations sufficient to interact with virus particles in vivo are impractical and probably dangerous.
Drinking water is always a good idea, but it is unlikely that drinking it constantly, thinking that it will influence the odds of you contracting the virus will actually do much. The theory is that a moist mouth will tend to push the virus into the stomach where it would be destroyed by stomach acids. That may be true, but a moist mouth will just as likely trap the virus in your sinuses more easy as well. Drink water; just don’t expect too much from doing it.
A meme is going around that people have reported getting the virus from gas pump handles. It’s certainly possible that this surface can harbor virus particles, but the number of people who contract the virus from surface contamination is likely low. On the other hand, if your gas pumps are like mine, you’ll always notice a trace of gas smell on your hands after pumping gas. That’s gas on the handle; and it’s likely to make the handle more dangerous to the virus than to you. Glove up if you have them, or sanitize, or simply wash your hands when you get home remembering not to touch your face.
Using a hairdryer on its highest heat setting and covering the intake with your hand to increase the heat even more will likely burn your hand and torch your sinuses and nasal cavities. Some virus will inevitably escape and the job you did macerating your nasal cavity will likely make its job easier.
Elderberry (or any of the 50+ things flying around social media) will likely not increase your chances of developing cytokine storm should you contract Covid19. You need to be fairly far along in the terminal stages of infection to even worry about this (I’d worry more about pulmonary fibrosis, but that does not have as sexy a name). If you’re scared of using things like elderberry because of what you’ve read on the internet, that’s certainly your choice, but there’s no science behind the fear, so you’re just making more elderberry available for other people.
Here’s one that might actually be true and a valuable clue.
It seems that asymptomatic carriers may actually loose their sense of smell and/ or taste. Great new clue, but keep in mind that while Socrates is a man, not all men are Socrates. In other words, some people will have this symptom and Covid19, some will have Covid19 and not have it; some will have it and not have Covid19. You really can’t ‘confirm’ much from just this alone and many people will likely get themselves all twisted up about it. The universe of people with a pre-existing lousy sense of smell is pretty big, and teasing them out may be difficult. However, asymptomatic people with a dramatic loss of taste or smell should definitely self-isolate for at least 2 weeks.
Or at least get off the beach.
Here’s a bit of good news.
In reading the report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) released 16-24 February 2020, I found data (buried on pages 8-9) that I thought were quite interesting and actually cheered me up a bit.
Household transmission studies indicated that the secondary attack rate in households ranged from 3-10%. That’s actually profound, in that people who spent quite a bit of time in intimate contact with each other (and families in urban China are probably in closer proximity than the western countries) still to a large degree did not become infected.
Among less closely linked (non-family; work, social) contacts the percentage of infection was 1-5%.
Once people become aware of how they can get this virus, and adopt simple countermeasures, the number of infections appear to drop dramatically. Can’t figure out how that jives with an R0 of 2.3 (2.3 people infected by each infected person) but distancing is probably pretty good at the individual as well as societal level. With proper precautions, this virus may not be as easy to catch as we thought. The media is not addressing this, and most people don’t deal in probabilities, so they are left to think that as soon as the virus lands on you, you’re doomed.