Australian astrophysicist sent to the hospital after coronavirus invention goes horribly wrong

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An astrophysicist in Australia went to the hospital last week after getting magnets stuck up his nose while attempting to invent a device to stop people from touching their faces amid the global coronavirus pandemic, according to a report.

Dr. Daniel Reardon is a 27-year-old astrophysicist and research fellow at a Melbourne University who studies pulsars and gravitational waves. He and his partner were working to create a necklace that sounds an alarm when someone tries to touch their face. They began by wearing magnets on their wrists, but then Reardon tried putting magnets in his nose, The Guardian reported.

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“It’s the same logic as clipping pegs to your ears – I clipped them to my earlobes and then clipped them to my nostril and things went downhill pretty quickly when I clipped the magnets to my other nostril.”

A magnet on each side of his septum attracted together, leaving both stuck inside his nose. Reardon said he Googled a solution, and after reading an article about an 11-year-old who also got magnets stuck in his nose, he tried using other magnets to pull them out. Those magnets also got stuck once he lost his grip.

“As I was pulling downwards to try and remove the magnets, they clipped on to each other and I lost my grip,” he said. “And those two magnets ended up in my left nostril while the other one was in my right. At this point, I ran out of magnets.”

Once out of magnets, Reardon tried using metal pliers to pull them out – but those too became magnetized. His research partner finally brought him to the hospital, where medical staff applied an anesthetic spray and manually removed the magnets from his nose.

“My partner took me to the hospital that she works in because she wanted all her colleagues to laugh at me,” he said. “The doctors thought it was quite funny, making comments like ‘This is an injury due to self-isolation and boredom.’”

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Coronavirus is primarily spread through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. Frequent hand washing is recommended, as people transmit the virus by touching their mouth, eyes or nose.