News O'Clock: Don't Put Bleach Into Your Body, Seriously Never
Self-care in a pandemic is all about doing your best, catch these movies before Netflix takes them away, and Tom Hanks continues to be an actual angel of light.
On today's show: There have been 50,000 confirmed coronavirus-linked deaths in the US, but we’re all yelling about disinfectant injections, plus we have some movie recommendations for you before Netflix snatches them away.
And Self magazine senior health editor Anna Borges, author of The More or Less Definitive Guide to Self-Care, comes through to tell us how to take care of ourselves during a pandemic (Spoilers: There’s no right answer and we’re all doing our best.)
Check out the full episode transcript here:
Casey Rackham: Andy Cohen is calling out the FDA for discrimination. Bleach, don't inject it no matter what the president seemed to suggest. And we talked to self senior health editor, Anna Borges, author of The More or Less Definitive Guide to Self Care.
Hayes Brown: The date: April 24, 2020.
CR: The time: News O'Clock.
HB: Good afternoon. I'm Hayes Brown.
CR: And I'm Casey Rackham. Welcome to News O'Clock.
HB: It is Friday. We did it.
CR: A whole week of podcasts.
HB: Now we just have to do this forever. Forever.
CR: That is a very ambitious amount of time for us to have this podcast.
HB: At the heat death of the universe. There'll be just the void and News O'Clock.
CR: Glad to hear that there's some hope for the future.
HB: Do you have any reflections after one whole week of this?
CR: Honestly, I've been loving it. I think before I was just like kind of getting up whenever, and now I have...
HB: Now you have a reason to wake up in the morning. I'm glad we provided that to you, Casey.
CR: I would just like, yeah, I would be like doing the first couple hours of work in my bed and now I have to get up and go to a table where a mic is. So it's been helpful.
HB: All right. We now turn to our daily corona update. Honestly, we simply can't not focus on something the president said during his daily press briefing yesterday about disinfectant and light and maybe shooting one or both into people.
CR: Please. No, no.
HB: Roll the tape.
President Trump: And supposing you brought the light inside the body. You can, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way. And I think you said you're going to test that too. Sounds interesting. Right? And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning because you see it gets in the lungs and it is a tremendous number in the lungs.
HB: OK. There's a lot to unpack there. First, bottom line up front: Do not shoot disinfectant into yourself. It is not a good idea. In that clip, President Trump was talking to Bill Bryant, the head of the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Division. Bryant was talking about how bleach and sunlight and UV light killed the virus on surfaces, not in people and so I encourage you to go find the video because the reactions on some of the faces as Trump was saying this are really something. I would be remiss not to point out though he's not alone in touting the health benefits of bleach right now. CNN anchor Chris Cuomo's wife wrote on her health blog yesterday that she often added a half cup of Clorox to a full bath of warm water to “combat the radiation and metals in my system and oxygenate it.”
HB: That's said again, bleach is not a treatment for the Coronavirus and it feels bonker to have to point that out. The New York Times got some heat on Twitter earlier today for sitting in a tweet that Trump had talked about using disinfectants "dangerously in the view of some experts." They deleted that tweet and put out a new one apologizing and saying, "to be clear, there's no debate on the danger." Just to put a real button on things, the makers of Lysol had to put out a statement basically saying we are not medicine. And while some studies are being done to see what effect UV light has on treating coronavirus, it's kind of like how in the game telephone you start with the teachers are on strike but end up with purple monkey dishwasher. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany issued a statement today saying that of course the media would "irresponsibly take President Trump out of context and run with negative headlines." And here's what the president himself had to say this morning as he signed a bill, adding more than $350 billion to a fund for small businesses.
President Trump: But I was asking a very sarcastic question to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside. But it does kill it and it would kill it on the hands and that would make things much better. That was done in the form of a sarcastic question to the reporters.
HB: As all of this is happening, by the way, today we had 50,000 confirmed coronavirus related deaths in the United States and that's today's update.
CR: That was such an insane update. I mean, I think everyone's just been thinking about all this bleach stuff for what? Like over 12 hours now. I mean it is insane.
HB: I completely agree. It makes no sense, but once you trail it back to like where we started, which is UV and bleach kill the virus on top of things, you can see almost how it went from that to maybe we put it in the people and it's good.
CR: Honestly, this is also insanely ludicrous that I've turned to Tic Tok videos of users lip-synching to Trump's bleach monologue. And let me tell you, it is much more soothing than reality.
HB: I can only imagine.
CR: OK, well now it's time for today's good news, bad news. As you might guess from the name this is where I bring you some of the most awe and some of the most "oh my god, no" stories from around the internet.
HB: Can we get the bad news out of the way first today?
CR: OK, bad news. If you're the FDA, you messed with the wrong bravo host. Andy Cohen spoke out on last night's episode of Watch What Happens Live about his experience trying to donate plasma. If you don't know, Cohen had COVID-19 last month and after he recovered, he wanted to give back, but he was told that he couldn't donate because of an FDA rule mandating gay men must have not slept with another man for three months before donating. And if you don't know plasma from recovered people might have antibodies that could help treat coronavirus. So every bit of it helps. Here's how Andy put it during his show.
Andy Cohen: Here's the thing. This virus is ravaging our planet. The FDA says there is an urgent need for plasma from survivors. All donated blood is screened for HIV and a rapid HIV test can be done in 20 minutes or less. So why the three-month rule? Why are members from my community being excluded from helping out when so many people are sick and dying? Maybe because we're valuing stigma over science. I don't know. My blood could save a life, but instead it's over here boiling.
HB: Such a dumb rule at this point.
CR: I mean...not even just dumb, it's discrimination. Has been for forever. It's just that this started back in the 1980s at the height of the AIDS HIV crisis and it's 40 years later and the stigma is still very much around.
HB: Earlier this month, man, the FDA even changed the rule from one year you have to have been abstinent from sleeping with a guy to three months at the start of April. And that's still too long a period with the tests that we have now.
CR: It is, and I think it's like something really important to think about. So, OK, 1980s it was a lifetime ban you couldn't donate blood right? Now in 2015, they change it to a 12-month band and now in April they just change it to three months. So I'm like, why did... It seems very arbitrary in the amount of time that they're changing it. And like you said, in the 1980s, it's like our testing was not what it is now. And so it's just wild and other countries are ahead of us in this regard. So Dr. Monica Hahn of UC San Francisco Health was on Good Morning America today and they said that countries like Italy and South Africa have moved onto what's called an individual risk assessment where they ask the same questions to everyone regarding risk behaviors regardless of their sexual orientation.
HB: Maybe one day we too can be as advanced Italy and South Africa.
CR: OK. Now onto some much needed good news. Parks and Recreation is coming back. The show's been off the air for four years, but it's making a one time return next week. It's going to be a half-hour special starring all the original cast featuring Leslie trying to stay close to her friends during quarantine, metaphorically close, not literally. And bonus, the show will be raising money for Feeding America. So you get the funny and the fundraising. Between the sponsors, cast producers and NBC universal, they're putting up $500,000 in matching donations.
HB: That is such good news. But I got to say I'm a little disappointed that it's the form of a half-hour special or not a telethon because I mean it was right there. It was right there for them.
CR: And honestly there's nothing more that this country needs than like a 24-hour live stream of the Parks and Recreation cast. OK. But I can't wait to see what all the characters are up to it in quarantine, like who's going to be doing the worst in the middle of all of this?
HB: My prediction is it's Tom Haverford because he's probably trying to blow up on Instagram live, but literally no one is watching him and he's very upset by this.
CR: No. That seriously was my guess I was like, he is totally struggling being in there. Even though he's going to have social media, he's going to struggle. And I also think Andy's really going to struggle because he doesn't like rules and people telling him what he can and cannot do. Like I think he's going to be like not really understanding social distancing and how to wear a mask effectively and also he's just going to be bored.
HB: This has been fanfic Friday brought to you from News O'Clock.
CR: In a minute we'll be talking to Anna Borges about how to make self-care a thing when we're all stressed beyond belief. Be right back. Welcome back. It's time for say more. This is where we get to talk some of the best people out there and to spending some quality time with us.
HB: We made it through another week of stress and bad news and staying away from people and guys, this shit is hard, which is why it's so important that we try to take care of ourselves even as we're looking out for everyone else in our lives.
CR: We're joined by an expert on the matter, Anna Borges, she's the senior health editor for Self magazine and author of the book, The More or Less Definitive Guide to Self Care. Hello Anna.
Anna Borges: Hi.
HB: Hi. So Anna, you wrote the literal book on self-care, which listeners can and should purchase from an independent bookseller. Do you find that makes you feel more prepared at all for what we're dealing with?
AB: I wish. Absolutely not. I mean like yes, through my work I have, like, all of these tools at my disposal, I'm always talking to therapists and experts and so like thus have some knowledge on what I technically should be doing. But knowing in theory is not the same at actually being skilled at doing those things. Like I'm awful at taking my own advice on the best of days and now under these circumstances, like everything's out the window.
CR: OK. So we're all giant stress balls right now. But the thing a lot of people turn to is self-care and that's eating out, shopping, treating themselves and those aren't available. Why do you think so many people equate spending money with taking care of themselves?
AB: I mean a few reasons. I think for one it feels good. Like, who among us can deny the short term pleasure of buying yourself something nice or dropping some money on Animal Crossing? That's me. That's what I'm doing. It's like an instinct gratification thing. But also there's this whole, I don't know, treat yourself narrative that's hard to be immune to. Self-care got tied up with consumerism pretty quickly and so people associate buying things with self-care when, for me personally at least, my philosophy of self-care is it's not buying things. It can be like no shame if that's what it is for you. But it's all of the things that we do, like the fun and the not fun and the free and the money based things that we do to manage our mental health every day. So it's a lot more than spending money. But also I know a lot of people who need something to look forward to right now, so they're purchasing things. So that package arrives to break up the pandemic and I get it. I totally do.
HB: So I got to know what would you say is the worst piece of self-care advice that you've heard lately? And you don't have to name names, but I also totally think you should name names.
AB: Hayes, Oh my gosh. OK, well don't get mad. No, this is going to be a total cop-out answer because for one like I actually can't think of anything to be fair. I think self-care can look a lot of different ways and so people are giving advice on what works for them. I'm not here to discount that, but that said, the self-care advice that I really hate is actually like a whole genre of advice, which is framing self-care as justification to do shitty things, especially to other people. Like people will call anything self-care these days. People will be like, "I cancel on my friends all the time. I'm really awful. I ignore people. I do these things." Self care and it's like I'm not saying you can't do those things. We're all only human. But like framing it as self-care kind of plays into this narrative of why self-care has a bad rep in the first place.
AB: The biggest criticism or one of the many criticisms of self-care is that it's selfish and self-indulgence and yeah, if your self-care definition is these things, a.k. shitty stuff. So yeah, I think that's my biggest pet peeve when I see people peddling that kind of advice under the guise of self-care, which I don't think it is.
CR: You write a lot about mental health and depression and how to generally make your way through life without that dragging you down. What are some of the resources you'd recommend to people dealing with that right now?
AB: Resources right now is kind of a tough subject because everything is kind of out the window. Even the mental healthcare industry is moving completely virtual and so normally I'm like I'm a big supporter of therapy. You should have a space to talk about yourself and go through your feelings and not have to worry about a relationship being reciprocal like it is with a friend or a partner or a family member.
AB: So that obviously is something that I'm leaning on hard right now. But therapy comes with a lot of barriers to entry. It requires a lot of privilege to access and so it's hard to give that as advice. So if you can do that, do, but if not, short of that, I always definitely recommend crisis resources like the suicide prevention lifeline or crisis text line. And what I want to say about that is I think people often have this high bar of what it means to be in crisis, quote-unquote, and they're like, "I'm not going to reach out to say the suicide prevention lifeline because I don't think I'm saying a danger to myself." But if you're struggling right now, those resources are totally available to you if you just need someone to talk to because you don't have that right now. That's what that is for.
HB: Anna, what's the best thing that you've done for yourself in the last month and a half would you say?
AB: Do you want, like, the feelsy answer or like the consumeristic capitalism answer?
HB: I would like both because I'm legitimately curious what your answers are here.
AB: OK. OK. So we'll go with the latter first, which is that many people on the internet right now I am finding like great comfort and self-soothing in Animal Crossing and video games in general. Like I'm sorry, I don't want to think about the world. I want to give like my little capitalism raccoon, like, his bells and make my island pretty and like that has been self-care for me. And I will say that I actually didn't get Animal Crossing before I got it. I was kind of like this is... I don't buy this. This is not my typical kind of video game, but it has been the savior for the pandemic. Whoa. But on the more feelsy side of things, I will say that just in general being kind to myself has been really important. And even your question speaks to like the pressure that I feel myself, I'm like you should know what to do now.
AB: You should know what to take care of yourself. You have these tools and like reminding myself that a lot of those aren't helpful right now because we're in this completely unprecedented wild situation and my CBT exercises do not stand a chance against like the anxiety spiral of the world kind of going off the rails. And so just reminding myself of that is something that's been very helpful and I encourage people to kind of lower the bar and go easy on yourself and just understands that you're not equipped to deal with this. And the best we can do is try our best.
CR: I truly think that is the best advice. I think my friend who also goes to therapy tells me always via text to be kind to myself and myself who also goes to therapy texts her kind to yourself because when you can't remember it for yourself, it's nice to have a friend tell you that. Also you wrote a piece for Self called "17 Totally Normal Things to Feel Right Now According to Therapists." What on that list surprised you the most and what do you think your readers most needed to hear?
AB: I don't think anything surprised me because everything felt so valid. Like even if things I hadn't thought of before, as soon as the therapist was like, this is coming up a lot, and I'm like, "yep, sounds right." Like of course people are, I don't know, fill in the blank. Angry, grieving, maybe even a little relieved, bored, horny, like all of these things, everything. I was like, "yep, sounds legit." So nothing was surprising, but I do think that something that readers most needed to hear and that came up most was help in validating the things that they feel most guilty about. I mean this is something that everyone is going through in some way and we all have various levels of privileges or don't have those privileges. We are in spaces of safety or a spacious of danger.
AB: And people are kind of grappling with their role in all of this and like where they stand and whether or not they can still work or work from home. And so the thing that came up a lot was people feel guilty if they have these privileges and these levels of safety and it's making everything that they're already going through worse. So I think people needed to hear that being grateful that things aren't worse doesn't mean that you can't be struggling too. And you should make space for the ways that you're hurting and the ways that you're struggling even if you are lucky in some aspects.
HB: Anna, this has all been like the best thing I think for people to hear on a Friday going into the weekend. I really thank you so much for coming on today. I really appreciate it.
AB: Oh, thank you so much for having me. This was like a very nice soothing break to my day.
HB: Good, good and really quick just to make sure we provide it to anyone who needs it. The national suicide prevention lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. That's 1-800-273-8255. Anna, thank you again.
AB: Thanks. Have a good one guys. Good one. Honestly...
CR: That's perfect.
AB: Please like include that one. It's kind of like we're all asking each other how's it going? How are you doing? Because we're like trained to be asking these things and we're like conditioned to like have these pleasantries and like every time we're like, "wait, that is not what we do anymore."
HB: That's not feasible anymore.
AB: None of us are good.
CR: It's time for the list because if you know BuzzFeed at all, you know how much we love lists and today we've got six movies to watch before they leave Netflix.
HB: Oh perfect. I have nowhere to be this weekend, like every weekend on my calendar for the next however...
CR: One day we'll have outdoor plans again, but for now we just have our beloved TVs. So without further ado, here are six movies to watch before Netflix takes them away from us at the end of April. Number one, Space Jam. Number two, The Craft. Number three, National Treasure. Number four, A Cinderella Story. Five, Spy Kids. And number six, Good Burger.
HB: All of those movies evoked a certain sort of "Oh, good. The world when it was nice, I remember." Perfect.
CR: Yeah. I want everyone to know that Hay's list included The Shawshank Redemption and I took that out because I don't need everyone to be in that headspace going into the week.
HB: That's fair. That's fair.
CR: Hayes, how dare you.
HB: I know. I'm sorry.
CR: No, no, but you're right. All have these movies like kind of just elicit a childhood kind of nostalgia and stuff and so it's just good going into it.
HB: I probably will wind up watching Space Jam or Good Burger now this weekend. Now that I know that this is my last chance for a second.
CR: No, I definitely want to see Good Burger again. I haven't seen it in so long and I think everyone should be... I think my top three, National Treasure, Cinderella Story, Spy Kids, those are all iconic. You're wrong if you tell me otherwise. OK. Just pure bliss.
HB: I've never seen A Cinderella Story. Which one is that? There were like a couple of Cinderella ones at that time, if I remember correctly.
CR: You are correct but this one stars up none other than Hilary Duff. Oh, it is so good,
HB: Is that the one where she's wearing the pink Chuck Taylor's on the movie poster?
CR: Yes, you're correct. That's it. OK. Please watch it. And I'm also, I don't want to reveal it because I don't want my queer card to be taken away, but I've never seen The Craft. And so I think...
HB: Even I've seen The Craft.
CR: I have to watch it this weekend. Oh my god, everyone's so upset at me right now. I'm so sorry. Listen, The Craft is very, my brand. I know. I'm going to love it. I just like never saw it. So now's my chance.
HB: Yes it is.
CR: You can find the full list of movies and TV shows leaving Netflix and the ones being added in May on buzzfeed.com, the internet website.
HB: OK. We have time for one more thing because we cannot let you go until we talk about this. Namely Tom Hanks being an actual angel of light.
CR: Wait, can that just be a thing we do all the time? Talk about Tom Hanks?
HB: I mean, I would if we could. I think there's other podcasts out there doing that and I wouldn't want to infringe upon them.
CR: OK, fair. But what did he do at this time though? Save a baby whale? Build a drone that can bring medicine to the elderly?
HB: Tom Hanks was nice to a little kid.
CR: I am already delighted.
HB: So while he was in Australia, recovering from the 'rona, an 8-year-old sent him a letter hoping he's OK. This kid's name Corona DeVries.
CR: Oh no. What a name to have right now.
HB: It's literally several levels because it wasn't until I was reading it just now that it hit me, that DeVries also sounds a little bit like virus. So just several levels of like, "Oh." But anyway, little Corona, he wrote the letter to make sure the Hanks was OK, but also said he was being bullied for his name and that made him "sad and angry."
CR: No. Justice for little Corona.
HB: Well, Hanks didn't get the letter until after he'd recovered, but he wrote back to Corona using his Corona brand typewriter because again, layers. He told him that his name was great, saying, "You are the only person I've ever known to have the name Corona, like the ring around the sun, a crown."
CR: Why am I crying right now? That is pure poetry.
HB: Hanks is a master of poetry. As it turns out, he also said, and this is what got me verklempt, he wrote that “you've got a friend in me.”
CR: Oh my god, my heartstrings. No, genuinely I think Tom Hanks could be the nicest person in the world.
HB: Entirely. I feel like if there was a metric, it would have to be on a Hank some meter.
CR: Yes, exactly.
HB: OK. I would just say first off that I don't believe that Tom Hanks has done any murders for any lawyers listening, but if he ever did a murder, it would probably be entirely justifiable and we'd all just be like, "Oh yeah, I see it. Fair."
CR: Oh my god. OK, Hayes. But besides murder, which I hope he hasn't done, what do you think the worst thing Tom Hanks has ever done in his life could be? Is it like finish the cheese in the fridge and not tell his wife about it?
HB: I mean something of that level of dastardly, I would assume. Like maybe he is one of those people though who... Oh man, maybe he's one of those people who leaves like a sip of drink left in the carton and puts it back in the fridge. That could be his one thing. I could see Tom Hanks having that...
CR: That is genuinely so annoying.
HB: It is though and I can see that...
CR: But we forgive him.
HB: We do. We do because Thomas Hanks, you are an angel of light. Thank you for being so nice to Corona after having the 'rona.
CR: That's it for today. We'll be back on Monday with whatever highs and Lows the weekend has bestowed on us.
HB: And remember, friends, bleach is not medicine. News O'Clock is produced by Dan Bowza and Alan Haburchak. Special thanks to Tracy Eyers, Mangesh Hattikudur, Samantha Henig, and Patrick McMenamin, and an extremely special thank you to Julia Furlan, Alex Laughlin, Megan Detrie, Eleanor Kagan, Tracy Clayton, Heben Nigatu, Bim Adewunmi, Nicole Perkins, Ahmed Ali Akbar, TK Dutes, Camila Salazar, Agerenesh Ashagre, and everyone else who came before us doing audio at BuzzFeed.
HB: This project can only have been possible based on the work they did. And in an ideal world, a lot of y'all would be right here alongside us as we put the show together.
CR: Be sure to subscribe to music lock on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you go for your sound stories.
HB: And be sure to give us a rating and review while you're there. Also, tell your friends about the show, so they can set their alarms and never miss…NEWS O’CLOCK.
The names of Kayleigh McEnany, Dr. Monica Hahn, Megan Detrie, and Ahmed Ali Akbar were misspelled in an earlier version of this post.