DR ASHLEY BLOOMFIELD
I have been asked about bleach. This is a very good and very timely question. As Director-General of Health, I have been asked if it can be used effectively in the treatment of Covid-19.
Well, first let's look at its effectiveness in the treatment of stains.
Bleach is the generic name for any chemical product which is used industrially and domestically to clean, and to remove stains. It often refers, specifically, to a dilute solution of sodium hypochlorite, also called "liquid bleach". It has an interesting history. Swedish chemist Carl Scheele discovered chlorine in 1774, and in 1785 French scientist Claude Berthollet recognised that it could be used to bleach fabrics.
In the present day, bleach products are used in many homes. Natural alternatives are also an option for those who favour more organic substances. Lemon juice, vinegar and baking soda all have their uses.
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More recently the President of the United States has posited the theory that bleach could be injected into humans to treat Covid-19.
Mr Trump is certainly entitled to his views and while it's a novel idea, it might actually have the potential to rid the planet of one of the most toxic scourges the world has ever known.
And this is why I recommend Mr Trump should be injected with "liquid bleach", immediately.
The wife said, "David, we're out of Janola. Can you run down to the shop and get some?"
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It was a very good and timely question. As Minister of Health, I've attracted a bit of negative publicity because of my penchant for moving around too much during the lockdown, and the last thing I need is if anyone came over to the house and saw that it was less than spotless.
Also, I confirmed this week that I will stand as the Labour candidate in the new Dunedin seat in the 2020 election. It's one thing for the Prime Minister to demote me to the bottom of the Cabinet rankings and strip me of my role as associate finance minister, but that doesn't have any bearing on my capacity and responsibilities as an electoral MP. Still, it's true that people want someone who is whiter than white.
And that's where bleach comes in, so I got on my bike, and rode from my house in Opoho over to Queenstown, where I saw something strange in the sky over the Remarkables. It might have been a meteor, but who knows? Life is full of surprises. You can just never know the truth about some things – or some people! For instance, it's always the people you least expect who start exhibiting signs of madness.
I stopped for lunch in Twizel, carried on over the Alps to Hokitika to stay the night, then rose at dawn to journey up to Picton, where I got the ferry to Wellington and then headed north, stopping for a McDonald's at Rotorua, except they'd run out of lettuce because of the high demand since we entered lockdown alert level 3, so I got back on my bike and set off for Auckland.
When I got there, I phoned the wife and said, "Sorry, what was it you wanted me to get?"