There’s a myth circulating that snorting coke can protect you from the coronavirus, and apparently heaps of French people believed it. However it’s still unclear whether they acted upon it.
On the weekend, the French Ministry of Health was forced to release a public service announcement clarifying that coke does not in fact protect you against the coronavirus.
The tweet reads: “No, cocaine does NOT protect against COVID-19. It is an addictive drug that causes serious side effects and is harmful to people’s health.”
#Coronavirus | Désinfox
❌ Non, La cocaïne NE protège PAS contre le #COVID19 .
✅ C’est une drogue addictive provoquant de graves effets indésirables et nocifs pour la santé des personnes.
👉 https://t.co/ajSGwecauL pic.twitter.com/4GZ01Qmg5X
— Ministère de la Santé et de la Prévention (@Sante_Gouv) March 8, 2020
The myth started out from several tweets which are quite obviously fake screenshots made made with Break Your Own News, the online tool that’s become a favourite of stan Twitter.
Breaking News: #coronavirus 🦠 pic.twitter.com/AWiDvw9lP8
— anton newcombe (@antonnewcombe) January 30, 2020
It goes without saying that cocaine does not somehow sanitise your nostrils of the coronavirus. Several studies have found cocaine to suppress cellular immune response. While the extent of this in humans has not been fully studied, the research is clearly heading in the opposite direction of what these memes suggest.
In addition to the French government, the World Health Organisation has also addressed cocaine in its list of myths about the coronavirus. The information is available in Arabic, French, and Spanish, but not English or any of the organisation’s other official languages.
It’s the latest of many myths spreading online about the coronavirus which have targetted hand sanitiser, facemasks and even garlic, among other things.
But at least the French aren’t out here brawling over… toilet paper.