Statutory warning: Don't eat snakes

Even the ENT surgeon Dr Harsh Vardhan in Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan is unlikely to endorse this non-cure for Covid: biting snakes. But just for the record: sinking your teeth into snakes – any snake – is not a cure for, or preventive from, Covid. In fact, snake-chompers run the risk of dying of, well, snake poison. That we are mentioning this may strike readers as odd, snake not a standard feature for palates and plates in these climes. But a gentleman in Perumalpatti in Tamil Nadu took the forbidden bite, allegedly after being goaded by fellow villagers, and then posted the serpentcide on social media. Luckily, he missed biting into the poison glands of the snake – a venomous common krait.

The man may have committed an environmental crime – he was fined ₹7,000, a huge sum for the agricultural labourer – but his act does highlight the many rumours of ‘Covid cures’ doing the rounds. Apart from snake-oil merchants selling ‘Ayurvedic cures’, now we have an instance of the snake itself. The man may have been drunk when eating the snake, but superstition provides a dangerous high by itself. Once again, we suggest all our readers to avoid eating snake – for now, even the non-toxic snake soup, or she geng, a Cantonese speciality. Even that, adventurous foodies, isn’t going to help ward off Covid.


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