SURELY there must be something good to come out the COVID-19 pandemic.
A worldwide realisation that all of us – governments, anti-vaxxers and Bill Gates alike – are truly together in our battle against the pandemics of the flesh and of the heart.
Okay, wrong planet.
But at least one Spanish company have made a chewing gum that blocks COVID infections, presumably without steaming your eyes up or pricking your arms.
The anti-COVID gum – called ‘Chewing Mask’ – has been in development for 18 months in laboratories in the UK, Germany and Spain and will go on sale in the Canary Islands this coming February.
According to University of Cambridge biologist Marcos Isamat, the gum contains three naturally-occurring acids that lower the mouth’s pH and destroy the membranes of COVID-19 viral particles.
“The Chewing Mask isn’t just an anti-COVID gum, but also blocks the entrance of any other kind of virus,” Isamat told Spanish TV channel LaSexta in a recent interview.
“It does this by destroying the lipids encasing the virus, so the virus cannot reproduce in the mouth.”
He said this includes blocking infections from the common flu virus with just a few chews that leave a ‘pleasant’ aftertaste of mint and lemon in the mouth.
The Chewing Mask is particularly aimed at anyone in contact with COVID-19, such as an infected relative, as it would stop the opportunity for transmission.
By chewing the gum up to ‘four times a day’ a person already infected could also reduce the chance of passing it on to anyone around them.
According to Isamat, the presence of the Chewing Mask acids would keep the mouth virus-free in between your four a day.
The revolutionary gum has been picked up by Barcelona-based communications company Ideas Agitadas who have confirmed a Canary Islands rollout for this coming February.
The gum will be sold in packs of 10 for €2 a packet at supermarkets – not pharmacies – in the Spanish islands.
Since the Chewing Mask is not classed as a medicine, it’s unlikely to substitute existing measures of hygiene and health safety in place such as wearing a mask.
According to the CEO of Ideas Agitadas, Jose Antonio Gonzalez, the first packs of Chewing Mask are already being manufactured and the company is pushing for an imminent rollout on mainland Spain.