The spread of the coronavirus has caused a global public health crisis that has led many governors to issue mandatory stay-at-home orders and close all non-essential businesses until the virus can be contained. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Americans have tested positive for COVID-19 and thousands have died. One survivor in New York City, however, says using traditional Caribbean remedies helped him beat the virus.
Raeburn Fairweather, a 47-year-old respiratory therapist at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center, looked to his Jamaican heritage for an alternative treatment after he tested positive for COVID-19 on March 18.
“I’m going to be honest with you, the staff was still somewhat laid back about it,” he told the New York Post. Fairweather was allowed to return to work the same day he got the result because he hadn’t had a fever during the previous three days. He describes his symptoms ranging from a 104-degree fever, losing his senses of smell, and taste, and coughing up “thick, white mucus” by day three.
“The Tylenol would not bring it down. My body felt like it was falling apart,” he said. “Headaches were immense. They were making my eyeballs feel like they were on springs.”
The married father of five quarantined himself in an extra room in his family’s Canarsie rowhouse, away from his wife and children. After discovering Tylenol wasn’t completely effective, he resorted to using Jamaican remedies he often used growing up for different ailments made with turmeric, garlic, and ginger.
Although Fairweather credits home remedies for helping him recover, the World Health Organization states that there is no cure for the novel virus. “While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease,” reads the org’s website. “WHO does not recommend self-medication with any medicines, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for COVID-19.”
Maimonides spokeswoman Eileen Tynion confirmed the hospital’s policy allowed employees who recover from the coronavirus to resume work on their fourth consecutive day without a fever. Officials at the hospital in Borough Park said several other workers have also tested positive for the coronavirus, but declined to provide additional details.