Can Fish Emulsion Save Us from Emaskulated CoVid Spreaders??


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Just hear me out on this one.  I’m not saying that research studies show that the smell of fish emulsion somehow neutralizes the SARS-CoV-2 virus that leads to Covid-19 — although this famously stinky substance might well chase the virus away if it had a sense of smell.  I’m just saying that it might help us stop the spread of the virus.  This is just a thought-experiment at this point, but perhaps a number of us can get together and see how well it works in practice.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.  I was in Aldi (it’s like Trader Joe’s) a couple of weeks ago and this surfer/bro hybrid came in the store wearing a mask, as the store rules required, and then — once safely inside — took the mask off his face and one ear to become an “ear-dangler.”  I thought “do I really want to call the manager here, even at the price of being called a ‘Karen'”?  (I hate that term, by the way, and I presume that my various friends named Karen hate it too.)  I was just about done, so I headed to the register, wishing that there was some better response at hand.

You can already see where this is going, right? Note that this photo is of a home-brew goo.

Recently, something occurred to me: one thing that cloth masks do do pretty well is to block out smells.  So if you have a store full of people who can’t smell, and just a few who can, those few who can smell are at a serious disadvantage in the face of a lot of stink.

What makes a lot of stink?  Skunk spray, baby poop, Limburger cheese, sure — but you don’t want to drop the skunk spray in a store, baby poop is unsightly as well as smelly, and Limburger cheese just doesn’t seem, well, virulent enough.  But then there’s fish emulsion — a goo easily put into a small bottle with a flip top.

Note that I’m not talking about hydrolyzed fish fertilizer here!  Nor do I refer to anything deodorized, for heaven’s sake!  I’m talking about the real pungent goo — the stuff that some cultures accept but mostly makes people gag — goo that can be brewed at home and trapped in plastic and unleashed as needed.  “Needed,” for example, when one is administering a discreet Covid-19 symptoms test.

Remember, loss of smell is one common symptom of CoVid-19.  If you see someone not wearing a mask when they’re supposed to, especially if they put it on to get into the store and then deliberately took it off — doesn’t it seem reasonable to administer a quick test to see how badly they are putting you risk? (Obviously, if you’re using it inside a store, you’d want managerial permission.)

A film canister or (my preference) a flip-cap canister that diabetes test strips come in (pictured above) are small enough to be palmed in an average person’s hand, so that the emaskulated person who is tested themselves can’t even see it.  If you were to pop the lid open, bend back the lid so it can’t be seen, subtly wave your hand around a little — you’d likely have a decent chance at separating the masked from the emaskulated in no time.  You might even induce someone emaskulated within the store to remaskulate!

But that’s all theoretical for now.  As a scientist, I’d say that one would want to dilute the goo to the point where one really can’t smell it through one’s own mask, but could still smell it from within six feet if unmasked.  Some work on the procedural details — including how to make sure that you don’t drop it, spill it, or get any on your clothes or skin (unless that’s your thing) is still needed before this were to go wide.  In other words, we don’t recommend your trying this test this weekend, and if you do you’re on your own.

But if lots of the unmasked — or worse, the de-masked — are coming into OC’s establishments this holiday weekend … well, fish have given their lives for a lot worse reasons than this.


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 (in violation of Roberts Rules) when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Expelled from DPOC in October 2018 (in violation of Roberts Rules) for having endorsed Spitzer over Rackauckas -- which needed to be done. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. One of his daughters co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)