Reasons not to panic if your pharmacy is out of hydroxychloroquine

Vanessa Able

With the nation’s supplies of hydroxychloroquine dwindling, we get creative with other failsafe, research-based cures to COVID-19:



Bleach is the first battalion in the war against pandemic viruses, the Old Faithful of scientific home remedies. The best thing about bleach is just how versatile it is, both as a preventative measure and a cure. Whether you’re feeling the full-blown effects of COVID-related advanced pneumonia, or you’re just nursing a scratchy throat, a gallon a day of bleach will set you right as rain and back on the path to Wellsville. Drink, snort or shoot it straight into your aorta.



Prefer a lighter, more sociable solution that you can sip throughout the day? Beer, wine and spirits are the obvious choice here, but don’t overlook the potential of alcohol-based cleaners, nail polish removers, aftershave, Dayquil, mouth wash and even bug spray. Get creative and make it fun! Shake up a little virus-killer cocktail by pouring the contents of every single bottle of alcohol you’ve been storing – use a trash can as a receptacle if you need to – then gather the family and chug it frat house-style through a funnel. No need to wipe between turns either – that brew could kill a horse at ten paces.



You’ve used up all the booze and you’ve chewed through your daily allowance of Lysol from your supermarket. What now? A little out of the box thinking: What’s the worst disease in the whole world? Cancer. And we have drugs for that, right? So it follows that what works for the worst disease in the world should also work for not-so-bad diseases like any kind of virus. Cancer drugs like doxorubicin and thioplex are hard to come by if you don’t have the Big C, but I’ve got a buddy with stage 8 pancreatic selling surplus supplies at a decent markdown. PM me and I’ll hook you up.



When all else fails, the outright denial of reality is our only remaining recourse. If you are new to mind-altering hallucinogens, I suggest starting by microdosing yourself and your loved ones every hour for the first 48 hours then transitioning into debilitating doses administered by a certified Shaman over Zoom or something. The more you can involve all generations of the members of your household, the more you’ll appreciate the effects of all-out tripping balls together and probably and most certainly almost routing pandemics from your door.

Vanessa Able is the author of the travel comedy Never Mind the Bullocks—a recipient of The Scotsman's Book of the Year Award—and founder and editor of the Spirit-Lit platform, The Dewdrop ( Vanessa is a freelance writer, previously published in the New York Times, National Geographic Traveler and Esquire Magazine. Online portfolio at