Astrophysicist Hospitalised After Getting Magnets Stuck Up Nose While Inventing Coronavirus Device
There are all sorts of useful things we could be doing with our time in isolation: we could learn German, write a play or become a master of origami.
In reality though, the majority of us seem to be frittering away our time on daft pursuits like re-watching all of Friends or getting Port Vale into the Champions League on Football Manager.
Astrophysicists wouldn't be so foolish during lockdown though, would they? Yes, yes they would.
Dr Daniel Reardon, a research fellow at Melbourne's Swinburne University, Australia, had to be hospitalised on Thursday night after a bit of self isolation boredom culminated in him getting four magnets stuck up his nose.
In fairness to Dr Reardon, the fatal attraction started out with noble intentions. The 27 year-old astrophysicist, who studies pulsars and gravitational waves, thought he could use powerful neodymium magnets in his home to create a contraption that sounds an alarm when you touch your face - 'cause this can increase your chances of getting Covid-19.
Speaking to The Guardian Australia he said: "I had a part that detects magnetic fields. I thought that if I built a circuit that could detect the magnetic field, and we wore magnets on our wrists, then it could set off an alarm if you brought it too close to your face. A bit of boredom in isolation made me think of that."
However, it transpired the part would only complete a circuit when there was no magnetic field present, rendering his creation extremely pointless and irritating.
He said: "I accidentally invented a necklace that buzzes continuously unless you move your hand close to your face."
In hindsight, Dr Reardon should have taken this failure as a warning of what was yet to come, but spurred on by boredom, he continued to play with the magnets.
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He said: "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."
Dr Reardon placed one magnet inside each nostril and one magnet outside each nostril, but then when he moved the magnets outside the nostrils, the two inside stuck together. Unable to get them past the ridge at the bottom of his nose, he turned to Doctor Google and came across the case of an 11-year-old who had been treated for a similar problem (which says it all really).
Dr Reardon said: "The solution in that was more magnets. To put on the outside to offset the pull from the ones inside.
"As I was pulling downwards to try and remove the magnets, they clipped on to each other and I lost my grip. 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."
Unperturbed by his continual failings, Dr Reardon decided to get the pliers out - but that didn't help either.
He said: "Every time I brought the pliers close to my nose, my entire nose would shift towards the pliers and then the pliers would stick to the magnet. It was a little bit painful at this point.
"My partner took me to the hospital that she works in because she wanted all her colleagues to laugh at me. The doctors thought it was quite funny, making comments like 'This is an injury due to self-isolation and boredom'."
After understandably taking the p**s a little bit, two doctors manually removed the magnets after applying some anaesthetic spray.
"When they got the three out from the left nostril, the last one fell down my throat. That could have been a bit of a problem if I swallowed or breathed it in, but I was thankfully able to lean forward and cough it out... Needless to say I am not going to play with the magnets any more."
Finally then, it seems like Dr Reardon has made a sensible decision.
Let's all bring some positivity, support and fun to anyone who might find themselves in isolation as a result of the coronavirus spread. Need some entertainment? Join Isolation Nation: https://www.facebook.com/groups/coronasupport/
Featured Image Credit: Daniel Reardon