Singapore — There’s exercising caution and there’s also a paranoid fear of catching disease in the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak.
People have resorted to rather extraordinary measures to protect themselves from the virus. Some have used plastic bags, umbrellas, shawls and even underwear to cover themselves. A person was seen recently in an MRT train fully clad in a hat, mask, sleeve protectors and an enormous plastic bag.
And now, there is a video circulating on social media of someone washing his or her $2, $5 and $10 notes. The seven-second clip on Facebook shows the individual not only soaking the notes in a tub of sudsy water but even rubbing them to make sure they are clean.
Need to get rid of covid-19… 😩Credits to Noor for sending in!
Posted by Singapore Laughs on Saturday, February 15, 2020
The caption reads, “Need to get rid of covid-19… 😩”
Naturally, netizens broke out into “money-laundering” jokes.
One “helpfully” suggested that bleach might do a better job.
Another suggested ironing the notes for more complete disinfection.
One person noticed that only “smaller” notes were being washed.
However, at least one netizen defended the person in the video clip, saying she has been doing the same thing from even before Covid-19.
It is not known if the clip is a joke (after all, it is posted on a Facebook page called Singapore Laughs) but money can … well … get more than a little dirty, with flu viruses staying alive on the surface of dollar notes for more than 2 weeks.
According to a report from TIME:
“Studies show that a solid majority of US bills (notes) are contaminated by cocaine. Drug traffickers often use (cocaine)-sullied hands to move cash, and many users roll bills into sniffing straws; the brushes and rollers in ATMs may distribute the nose candy through the rest of the money supply.
“Also found on bills: Faecal matter. A 2002 report in the Southern Medical Journal showed pathogens — including staphylococcus — on 94% of dollar bills tested. Paper money can reportedly carry more germs than a household toilet. And bills are a hospitable environment for gross microbes: Viruses and bacteria can live on most surfaces for about 48 hours, but paper money can reportedly transport a live flu virus for up to 17 days.
“It’s enough to make you switch to credit.” /TISG