With millions of people bored at home on lockdowns to avoid COVID-19 infection, some are turning to the internet for entertainment and it’s no surprise we have yet another challenge…..
The “Coronavirus Challenge” involves people licking objects such as toilets and video taping themselves.
21 year-old Tik Tok celebrity, Ava Louise, assured Dr. Phil in an interview that she bleached the seat first, however, other online daredevils are not being so cautious.
In California, Tik Tok personality Larz reported he came down with COVID-19 after doing a similar challenge, and posted a video from his hospital bed days after posting images of himself licking a toilet seat.
COVID-19, among other pathogens, have been found to live on surfaces for days and possibly weeks. It can be deadly and easily transmitted to others who don’t exhibit symptoms.
No matter how bored one gets, licking a toilet sheet should never be done for any reason fathomable.
Last year we had the “Vacuum” or “Trash Bag” Challenge.
In this feat, one climbs in to a garbage bag, while a friend or parent sucks air out of the plastic bag until the inmate topples over.
Bringing people to the point of falling (or if putting the bag over their face) of asphyxiation can cause plethora of health issues including fractures, respiratory failure, stroke and death.
And even if parents appear to be supervising or performing the challenge and the child comes out unscathed, dangers lurk as the child could try to reproduce the challenge with their friends, this time putting the bag over one’s head.
Last Spring another odd challenge swept social media called the “Shell On” challenge in which teens Snapchat videos of themselves eating through fruit skin, cardboard boxes and plastic bags containing their food.
Although this appears to not be as dangerous as the Tide Pod or Boiling Water Challenge, it can cause choking and asphyxiation.
In the video above the teen takes bites out of fruit with their peel and a cereal box.
What other dangerous challenges are out there?
Last year we learned of the “Boiling Water Challenge” in which kids drink boiling water from a straw or have it poured all over their body. Then they topped it off with a more dangerous challenge, the “Fire Challenge.”
The Fire Challenge is executed by pouring rubbing alcohol on one’s body and then setting oneself on fire. A video records the victim running into a tub or shower to wash it off, and this trend has gone viral.
Unfortunately it’s one of the most dangerous. A 12 year-old girl from Detroit who participated in this challenge is undergoing multiple surgeries to repair burns afflicting close to 50% of her body.
Multiple cases of the “Fire Challenge” have been reported over the years, including a 12 year-old boy from Georgia.
One would think children, especially teens, innately know that fire is dangerous but maybe the younger generation has been so protected that they haven’t experienced the basic concepts of danger and inadvertently underestimate its force.
Challenges that involve dangerous stunts have been around for some time. The Choking Challenge induced children to suffocate themselves for the high of feeling asphyxiated. The Tide Pod Challenge tempted kids to put colorful cleaning packets in their mouths, hoping they wouldn’t burst.
The Cinnamon Challenge sparked thousands to inhale the common kitchen spice and cough till they puked. Then the Condom Challenge offered two options where one dropped a condom filled with water on a friends face, or snorted one through the nose.
We adults can’t for the life of us figure out what the reward is in performing these challenges, but presume its fame and awe among friends and social media followers. But these challenges prove dangerous and in some cases deadly. Unfortunately the YouTube Clips never show the after effects of these pranks…maybe they should.
Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.