Thanks to WhatsApp, almost everyone has become expert on virology and immunology during the coronavirus pandemic.
There have been harmless rumours like eating more fruits and vegetables or Tulsi tea can prevent infection. Then there were more harmful rumours like drinking bleach or ethyl alcohol (rumour in Iran) to kill the virus which led to much harm.
There was one rumour that gained quite the mileage which is that steam inhalation was a way to avoid getting infected in the first place. There is no medical study to prove this though. Now, one individual on Twitter shared a revolutionary way to inhale steam. The user posted the video with a caption, “Where there’s a will there’s a way.” India is known as the land of jugaad but this one could be dangerous.
In the video, one can see an innovative contraption that uses pressure cookers for steam inhalation. The set-up consists of a pressure cooker being heated on flame, it filled halfway with water according to the voiceover.
Instead of the whistle, there is a pipe attached to the nozzle where the steam would usually escape. The pipe captures the escaping steam and directs it towards another pressure cooker lid where the steam comes out. A man is holding the lid towards his face and inhaling the steam.
The voiceover claims the set-up can be used to sanitize the whole body, fruits, vegetables, and of course, steam inhalation. The woman also claims it can prevent COVID-19 infection.
As usual, Twitter had a lot to say.
Scientist hain yeh.. Nobel prize ke haqdar— enT@ngled (@on_a_tangent_) September 23, 2020
Bilkul 👍— ILLUMINAUGHTY (@vineet10) September 23, 2020
Steam bath on free of cost— Anand6194 (@anand6194) September 24, 2020
However, a majority of the reactions were against this invention and said that it promotes unscientific methods.
the water vapor from cooker can be extremely hot and can cause serious burns. While at the face of it , this may look like a great idea. this is extremely dangerous— PRADEEP ️ (@Pradeep_tk) September 24, 2020
Once the virus enters the system, no ant of steaming can kill it.Only our innate defense mechanism can
— MonikaS (@monika__shah) September 24, 2020
The account that posted the video was not the video creator.
Yes I know Monika, I don't endorse it, nor I want people to follow this or claim this will cure covid, this tweet is just to show the jugad mentality of us indians, that's all — ILLUMINAUGHTY (@vineet10) September 24, 2020
Many social media users said that this should not be practised at home. There have been no studies to link steam inhalation with the killing of coronavirus.
However, those who have chest congestion can find some relief with steam, though it does not have any effect on the virus itself. If one needs to steam, proper steam inhalation device should be used.