What’s the Deal With ‘Virus Shut Out’ Necklaces?

Though banned in several countries, the bogus coronavirus prevention lanyards are still circulating

Yasmin Tayag
Medium Coronavirus Blog
4 min readAug 7, 2020

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A photo of my friend’s Shut Out Virus necklace.

Maybe you’ve seen people wearing them, or maybe you’ve seen an ad for one online: “Virus Shut Out” necklaces that claim to keep the coronavirus at bay. They look like an identification lanyard you might have worn at a networking event or conference before the pandemic happened, only in place of a nametag is a little blue packet filled with chemicals that’s said to prevent the wearer from getting Covid-19.

This claim is false, of course. Scientists have established that the coronavirus primarily spreads through close contact, via tiny droplets emitted when people talk, cough, and sneeze, though it can also be airborne and travel distances over six feet. Preventing Covid-19’s spread requires wearing a mask, washing hands, social distancing, and disinfecting surfaces regularly. The product’s claim that the chlorine dioxide inside the necklace can “produce a strong bactericidal and disinfection effect” around the wearer, thereby killing viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, is completely unsubstantiated. Also, chlorine dioxide can be dangerous to humans.

In March, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the sale of this product, which is…

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Yasmin Tayag
Medium Coronavirus Blog

Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog. Senior editor at Future Human by OneZero. Previously: science at Inverse, genetics at NYU.