The package appeared one day, unbidden, on the desk of a TIME writer. Inside was a slick white box that housed a petri dish sealed with gold tape. In the dish was a crumpled tissue—and inside the tissue were, allegedly, the germs of a sick person who had sneezed into it.
Vaev Tissue, the only product of a new startup based in Los Angeles, costs $79.99, according to the company’s website. Its sole purpose is to give the user a cold virus. “We believe using a tissue that carries a human sneeze is safer than needles or pills,” read the note that came with the product, written by the founder of the company. Wipe your nose with the sullied tissue, and you’ll “get sick on your own terms.”