Gasoline will disinfect face masks, says Duterte

I honestly dunno what’s the worst part of the headline. The idea that every face mask is reusable (no, not all of them), that somehow gasoline is set-up as a legit disinfectant (still no), or that the President of the Philippines himself proposed the ideas.

In the many topics of his latest address to the nation, Duterte once again emphasized the importance of using face masks to stem the spread of COVID-19. But the facts ended there, as the Chief went on to drop some ‘tips’ on how to sanitize said masks.

‘Hang it somewhere’, the president advised, while also claiming that spraying alcohol will do the trick. ‘Spray it with Lysol if you can afford it. If you can’t, soak them in gasoline or diesel. COVID won’t survive that’.

‘It’s true. If you can’t find a disinfectant, dip your hands in gasoline. Just don’t do it inside your houses’.

The most concerning part is that the advisory didn’t seem like one of Duterte’s usual distasteful jokes. It sounded like a legit suggestion, and in a time where fake news is easily mistaken for facts, it becomes a dangerous proposition, one that many might actually take seriously.

For the record, only non-medical face masks (those made of fabric, such as cotton) can be reused, provided that they have been handled properly. John Hopkins Medicine recommends using detergent or hot, soapy water (not gasoline or Lysol) to wash the masks, and using high heat to dry them.

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