A disinfectant so good you could bathe in it.

With COVID-19 cases continuing to mount, it’s only reasonable to want to try and protect yourself as much as possible. Whether it’s persimmons, balloon helmets, or monsters, people are always looking for the next big thing in virus protection.

Now, something new has sprung from an unexpected source: the Yubatake hot spring in Kusatsu Onsen. Tests on the water flowing through this resort was found to reduce the effectiveness of COVID-19 to infect by over 90 percent.

We visited Kusatsu Onsen in 2015 along with comedian Ike

A team from Gunma University introduced samples of the coronavirus to both Yubatake spring water and local tap water. While the tap water showed no significant change, the onsen water was highly effective at neutralizing the virus.

Readers of the news were excited that such a beloved feature of Japan has such a positive effect. 

“If this is true, it’s great!”
“Hopefull, this doesn’t lead to a cluster as people flock there.”
“That’s amazing. I wonder what component of the hot spring water caused it.”
“Indeed. Yubatake water is highly acidic.”
“If that works then Tamagawa Onsen in Akita and Zao Onsen in Yamagata have similar water and would have the same effect.”
“Yay! Let’s go drink some hot spring water!”

It should be noted that whatever chemicals are at work in this water probably also makes it not fit for human consumption. It’s probably also not advisable to inject it into your veins… Just shooting down potential ideas before they happen.

However, as luck would have it, you can create an even more effective corona-killing water using a miraculous substance that’s probably never more than 10 meters away.

▼ Soap!

Image: Pakutaso

Yes, ever since medical science stopped attributing illnesses to the moon and witchcraft, soap has been a freaking T-800 when it comes to terminating viruses with extreme prejudice. COVID-19 is no different, and soap is known to kill off well over 90 percent of the virus in only 20 seconds.

Sadly, it clearly doesn’t quite have the same PR machine behind it, since I rarely hear anyone call soap “amazing” or suggest “let’s go drink some soap water.” Thankfully though, this also means there’s no need to make the trip down to Gunma for their magic water when you have something just as good at home.

▼ Soap and Yubatake water together? Just kiss that COVID on your skin goodbye.

However, this is still really good news for Kusatsu Onsen and others like it. Thanks to this discovery, they are planning on setting up natural handwashing springs in three areas around the Yubatake source. It’s just like those bottles of hand sanitizers set up all over the place right now but much cooler, as the sanitizing water will be free-flowing from a natural source, and even after COVID-19, disinfecting natural spring water stands will be a pretty neat tourist draw.

More research is needed to determined exactly which water is effective and why, but it might even have the potential to be bottled and sold as a unique hand sanitizer. It clearly has more appeal than soap and with a little luck, might turn into a helpful source of revenue for Kusatsu too.

Since Japan’s hot springs have been among the hardest hit businesses from the pandemic, this might very well prove effective at protecting their bottom line from the deadly virus as well.

Source: TV Asahi, My Game News Flash
Image: © SoraNews24 (Unless otherwise noted)
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