By Aambar Agarwal
Disclaimer: Do not ingest/inject Lysol or any other disinfectant. It is deadly to do so. Use in accordance with the instructions on their labels.
It lies among the many brands we’ve heard about during the pandemic. Claiming to kill 99.9% of fungi, viruses, and bacteria, its sprays and wipes are perfect for disinfecting practically anything, even surfaces teeming with SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19.
Their sprays and wipes come in many tantalizing scents, fit for any mood: lemon and lime blossom for sour Monday mornings, green apple and aloe when in need of some calm, mandarin and gingerlily for the sweetest occasions, cherry blossom and pomegranate when crying over Cleveland weather, and so on.
These smells surround you while scrubbing your doorknobs for the sixth time that day, overpowering your senses until you can almost taste the fruity disinfectant. Not only is your house sterilized, but now your mouth feels clean too. Why not take it a step farther?
Don’t take it a step farther, unless you’re prepared to call Poison Control. Don’t listen to the president either, who is a bit too entranced by the power of these disinfectants and said during one of his beloved COVID-19 press conferences,
And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that. So, that, you’re going to have to use medical doctors with. But it sounds — it sounds interesting to me.
In essence, Trump was suggesting that we should have ourselves injected with disinfectants, such as Lysol, to kill the coronavirus, as it is clearly effective on other surfaces. However, he underestimated the deadliness of these disinfectants; that is, it is highly fatal to ingest or inject disinfectants in the human body.
Immediately after Trump’s suggestion, New York’s Poison Control Center “got 30 exposure calls — nine specifically about Lysol, 10 about bleach and 11 about other household cleaners.” Fortunately, everyone ended up alright. Nevertheless, this demonstrates the impact of Trump’s ignorant statements on the rest of the country. People who don’t know any better, who passionately support him, and who are terrified of getting COVID-19 followed his directions to their own detriment, assuming that their president would surely not lie about such a grave matter.
This is just one instance of Trump advocating for harmful solutions to the virus. During the same press conference, he speculated that exposing the body to strong UV light would kill off the virus. On Twitter, he passionately promoted using the drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine (normally used for treating malaria), despite that it was never approved by the FDA for broad coronavirus treatment.
It is extremely irresponsible for the leader of a country to say such ill-informed and dangerous statements while broadcasted to the public. However, when has Trump ever cared? Rather than admitting his mistake, he opted to blame the Democrats for twisting his words and claim that he gave these suggestions “sarcastically . . . just to see what would happen.”
Will Trump ever learn his lesson? Probably not. Until then, Lysol and other disinfectant companies can only issue out warnings, while we continue disinfecting every nonhuman surface that we can.