Simple steps, we are told, to reduce our chances of being infected by the Covid-19 virus include frequent handwashing and avoiding touching our face. The latter is incredibly difficult to do, I find, a view that Dr Daniel Reardon, a research fellow and astrophysicist from a university in Melbourne, shared.
Unlike me, Reardon decided to do something about it and create a device that would sound an alarm when you touched your face. Consisting of a circuit in the form of a necklace that could detect the presence of a magnetic field and a magnet to be worn on the wrist, it went off when the magnet got too close.
Fine in theory but in practice Reardon found that he had invented an annoying necklace that buzzed continuously until you moved your hand to your face. Things are always topsy-turvy down under, we are told.
Project abandoned, with time on his hands, Reardon began playing around with the magnets, fitting one inside and one outside of each of his nostrils. His problems started when he removed the outer magnets and found, to his horror, that the two inside stuck together. Consulting Dr Google, Reardon found a case of a 11-year-old boy who had had a similar problem, resolved by the application of more magnets to the outside of the nose to counteract the magnetic field of the magnets up his nose.
This proved disastrous, more magnets ending up inside his nose. Getting increasingly desperate, Reardon resorted to pliers to try and extract them. All that happened was that the pliers became magnetised by the magnets in his nose.
The only thing to do was to go to the local hospital where a couple of doctors complete with anaesthetic spray removed the magnets. Even then there was some drama as one fell into his throat. However, Reardon was able to cough it out before it could cause more damage.
Like many of us, Reardon is now concentrating on doing jobs around the house. Quite what a mess he will get into is anyone’s guess.