Iranians have posted several videos on social media, featuring devout Shi'ites licking holy shrines in defiance of the coronavirus. In some of the videos, worshippers say they are licking the shrines in order to infect themselves, thus protecting future pilgrims to the shrines from contracting the virus. On March 1, 2020, a pilgrim posted a video of himself licking the steel bars protecting the window of a Shi'ite shrine. He said that many people have "spread lies" that this window "contracted" corona, AIDS, hepatitis, and "such nonsense." He said that he is licking the bars so the disease enters his body and future pilgrims will be safe. "I have now eaten the corona disease," he said. In another video posted online the same day, Heidar, an Iranian schoolboy is seen kissing and licking the doors of another Shi'ite shrine, according to the adult filming the video "Heidar has kissed all the doors […] He kissed it, licked it, and spread in on his eyes." On February 29, 2020 a video featuring Hossein Ravazadeh, an "expert on Iranian-Islamic medicine" was posted on social media. In the video he said that he has come to Qom to kiss everybody [he meets]. He said that he intends to go everywhere in Qom and "show everybody that the [coronavirus] is nothing but stories." He said "they want to take away our religion" but the Shi'ites will not let "them" do so. Ravazadeh then volunteered to go to the infected people and treat them.
March 1, 2020
Person 1: "This is the steel window in the Ali ibn Musa Al-Reza shrine. Millions of people have come here and touched it – from remote villages, from cities, from streets, from countries, and continents. I've heard that some of the enemies of the family of the Prophet have recently spread rumors that the shrine and this window contracted corona, AIDS, hepatitis, and such nonsense. So I have come to lick the window of Imam Reza's shrine, so that the disease enters my body and you would be able to and you would be able to make the pilgrimage peacefully. I have now eaten the corona disease. May you now come to visit our beloved [Imam Reza]."
Person 2: "Heidar has kissed all the doors. I salute your gratitude. He is but a small child. He kissed it, licked it, and spread it on his eyes. If there are diseases or microbes there, let them enter our bodies and the bodies of our children, so that nothing happens to the pilgrims visiting Imam Reza."
Person 3: "This place has become full of corona. Look, I'm licking it so that all the corona enters my body. Let all the corona come to me."
February 29, 2020
Hossein Ravazadeh: "I have come to Qom. At the mosque as well as in private meetings, we will kiss everybody. We will meet with everybody. We will go to the Fatima Masuma Shrine. We will go everywhere and will do everything and we will show everybody the [coronavirus] is nothing but stories. They want to take away our religion. They want to harm us. What they are doing is meaningless. We won't listen to this. Besides, what kind of disease is this that you blow it out of proportions? Is there any problem to cure it? I am ready to personally go where the infected people are. I will start treating them there and you will see how fast they are cured. It hasn't been proven yet that the deaths are caused by corona. Someone is about to die, he gets the 'corona' cold and dies. I heard of two or three cases [of people], who were said to have died. I asked and was told that they had been sick for a long time. They had been on medication and would eat one kilogram of chemical meds every day."