Chinese Elderly Microwaved Money to Disinfect Them & Burned About SGD$600 Worth of Notes

FEAR actually means False Evidence Appearing Real, and during this COVID-19 outbreak, these “false evidence” becomes so real that people are doing irrational things.

Like hoarding toilet paper or shunning healthcare professionals in uniform.

Left unchecked, the fear can be more devastating than the virus instead.

Just ask this woman from the Jiangsu province in China who burned over 3,000 yuan (~SD$599) worth of money.

Reader Bao: Okay, so how does she burn the money?

She burned it.

Reader Bao: Yah, like how lah? She bought 1-ply masks is it?

No, she literally burned it.

Reader Bao: ???

But before that, let’s try to make the irrational decision a tad more rational.

Fear of Banknotes in China

By now you should know that everyone in China is on high alert due to COVID-19.

That escalated when it’s reported over in China that cash that came from high-risk area will be “specially treated” and sent back to the central bank instead of being recirculated.

And according to the Chinese Government, all Chinese banks must disinfect all cash with ultraviolet light and high temperatures. These cash would also have to be “quarantined” for 7 to 14 days before being released to the public.


WHO has mentioned that studies show the virus may stay on a surface for a few hours or up to several days depending on the environment.

The news looks to be the trigger of the panic button in China, but no, it doesn’t: if you’ve been to any China cities, you’d know that most people use their phones instead of cash for almost all transaction. If there’s one thing they need to clean, it should be their phones.

But physical cash still exists in suburban areas, and while there have been reports of people washing their banknotes, one woman in the Jiangsu province decided to do what the bank’s doing.

She microwaved her banknotes.


Needless to say, it doesn’t end well.

Elderly Microwaved Money to Disinfect & Burned About SGD$600 Worth of Notes

According to The Paper, the woman, who’s only known as Li and is an elderly, decided to microwave her note to kill any COVID-19 virus on the notes.

In less than a minute after the notes were in the box meant for leftover food, she smelled something burning.

She immediately took the cash out from the microwave oven but it was too late: most of the notes had turned black.


In other words, burnt.

Heartbroken, the elderly went to a local bank to seek help.

You’d have thought that the bank would immediately turn her away, right?


The bank officers tried to identify each note manually although those notes can’t be “saved” anymore.


They then concluded that there were 3,125 yuan.

And so they took the old burnt notes and gave the elderly 3,125 yuan from their side, highlighting that these notes are “clean money” so she can use them without worries.

Well, if there’s one thing we can learn, it’s this: money can’t be microwaved.

Reader Bao: But this is going to happen to more people. Are there more things we can learn from Goody Feed?

Well, yes: let’s look at how to overcome the thing that caused this entire incident: False Evidence Appearing Real.

Ways to Continue Living As Usual

It’s easy for people to say, “Live life as per usual lah, you won’t kena COVID-19 one lah.”

But for someone with FEAR, the false evidence looks much more real.

So if you’re really anxious, here are some ways to stay calm amidst this period:



You might associate this with religion but no: meditation works for everyone.

Other that studies that show it works, many people have sworn by it to remove anxiety and worries (i.e. false evidence). How would staying put for ten minutes help to calm one down, you ask.

After all, you want to calm down the entire day, and not just for that ten minutes, right?

For some reason, when you clear your thoughts for ten minutes, that’ll somehow also clear some anxiety off your mind. Don’t ask me why; our mind just works like that. Even if it’s a placebo effect, it works because placebo is all about tricking the mind, isn’t it?

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To mediate, simply go to YouTube and search for “meditation”—you can start slow with a one-minute mediation daily and slowly move on to longer mediation sessions.

Even after the COVID-19 outbreak is over, you can still keep this good habit because there would be more false evidence coming your way.

Set Aside Time for Worries

Image: Nutlegal Photographer /

So you’re worried that your banknote is filled with COVID-19 virus. Or that the doorknob you’ve touched earlier has COVID-19 on it. You’ve lots of worries but you didn’t want to microwave your money or burn your hands, and you still need to smile to your nasty boss daily.

Then set aside ten minutes for these worries while you go on with your life. Let’s say you started to think about the doorknob—just tell yourself that you’ll worry about it at 8:15 pm tonight, and go on with your life.

Even if you do remember to worry about it at 8:15pm, you’ve only given yourself 10 minutes to let those false evidence to appear real. Then at 8:25pm, you can go on to watch Crash Landing on You or just go to sleep.

Experts call this a “worry period”, and it’s recommended to set it at the same place at the same time every day. You’d be shocked at how well this works.

Now, before you accuse us of giving tips that don’t work, try them first—because we’re confident they do work.