The informal medicinal culture in Moldova has been beaming with recipes on how to prevent the contamination and fight against COVID-19 since the end of February. Local and pro-Russian media have been promoting garlic, fresh ginger and alcohol as efficient products to protect from the COVID-19 contamination along with hot showers with salt or even sauna. The protection masks should be soaked in water combined with apple vinegar. Additionally, people should wash their hands and nostrils with black soap and disinfect their clothes with chlorine.
Obscure local websites with profound nationalist and/or religious touch
These are the recommendations of the Association of Orthodox-Christian Naturopaths that were published in an article on Aparatorul.md – an obscure website known for its religious and conspiracy specific. According to the Moldovan fact-checkers from Stopfals.md, there is no such an association registered in the State register. Interestingly, Aparatorul.md noticed the initiative of the fact checkers that compared recommendations with the official information provided by the WHO and warned readers to doubt any information that cites WHO or the organization’s specialists.
Recommendations of Orthodox Christian doctors for preventing COVID-19 infection
Chat platforms – WhatsApp/Telegram/Viber
Alternative remedies against COVID-19 benefitted from spin in social media, WhatsApp and Telegram groups mostly. Such an example is Dr. Roschal’s tape – a Russian acclaimed pediatrician that recommends eating garlic in the morning and drinking hot/warm water. In an interview with kp.md – pro-Kremlin newspaper in Russian – Dr. Roschal explained that the tape is fake.
The target audience are Romanian and Russian speakers. Complementary, informal communication of remedies takes place on WhatsApp, Telegram or Viber platforms and targeted specifically Russian speaking audience.
WHO warns that drinking alcohol should be seen by no means as a protection measure against COVID-19 as it can increase the risk of health problems. Exposing to the sun or to temperatures higher than 25C degrees does not prevent coronavirus infection. Taking a hot bath does not prevent coronavirus disease and it can actually be harmful, as it can burn you to exaggerated degrees. Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties but there is no evidence that eating garlic has protected people from the COVID-19.