With the coronavirus addressed as a global pandemic and almost every country in the world on lockdown, people are bound to get fearful and believe everything they read. Without confirming what’s right and wrong.
Do you know what is more alarming than fear of the virus itself? Panic. Believing the myths for facts and spreading misinformation while creating unnecessary fear among others is alarming. We do not want fear in this crucial time, instead, all we need is reality checked facts to create awareness for appropriate action. We need proper risk communication to fight enemies like panic and fear.
- 1 Don’t Fall For These Myths About The Coronavirus!
- 1.1 Corona Is The Deadliest Virus Known To Mankind
- 1.2 “Only” Elders And Children Will Be Infected
- 1.3 Wearing Masks Will Prevent The Infection
- 1.4 Vaccination Is Ready To Cure The Virus
- 1.5 Cats And Dogs Will Spread The Virus
- 1.6 Thermal Scanners Can Diagnose
- 1.7 Chinese Food And Products Carry The Virus To Other Countries
- 1.8 5G Network Caused Coronavirus
- 1.9 Coronavirus Is Just Like Any Other Flu
- 1.10 You Have To Be With An Infected Person For 10 Minutes To Get Infected
- 1.11 Vaccine For Pneumonia And Flu Will Protect You From COVID
- 1.12 Yoga And Other Home Remedies Will Save You
- 1.13 Holding Breath For 10 Seconds Confirms You Are Not Infected
- 1.14 The Sun And The Snow Will Kill The Virus
- 1.15 Spraying Alcohol And Chlorine On The Body Is Prevention
- 1.16 Coronavirus Can Be Transmitted Through Mosquitoes
- 1.17 Taking Antibiotics And Vitamin C Supplements Will Help You Cure The Virus
- 1.18 You Will Get Infected Through Blood Donation
- 1.19 Using Alcohol-based Hand Sanitizer Will Set Your Hands On Fire
- 1.20 Drinking-Water, Eating Garlic, Lemon, And Herbs Will Prevent The Virus
- 1.21 Rinsing The Nose With Saline And Gargling The Mouth With Bleach Is The Answer
Do not be misinformed because misguided advice is no help in times of a crisis. To educate yourself and others, it is crucial that you know what is a fact and what is a myth. After reading this article, do not fall for these myths about the coronavirus stated below.
Corona Is The Deadliest Virus Known To Mankind
This is the most common misconception the world is wrapped around. We hear many people, even adults who have access to all kinds of credible information, saying with fear:
“If you are infected, you’re going to die.”
“If I am tested positive, there is no turning back.”
“Coronavirus is our endgame.”
Yes, all of us are eventually going to die. But it doesn’t necessarily be from the virus.
Compared to many other pathogens like Ebola [50% fatal], influenza, and rabies viruses [almost 100% fatal], coronavirus is nowhere near deadly like them. Considering the fatality rate of the virus, which is 2%, you don’t have to panic over dying from coronavirus. About 81% of the people infected have mild cases of COVID-19.
Besides, have you heard of the number of recovered people from coronavirus? Out of 10,05,507 infected, 210,555 are recovered. Most recently a 102-year-old woman from Italy recovered after staying 20 days in the hospital. Incredible, right?
“Only” Elders And Children Will Be Infected
Yes, it is true that elderly people are more vulnerable to get infected. However, that doesn’t mean that younger people can sit back and relax, or worse, go out and not isolate. It is all about how healthy your body is. If your immune system is good enough to fight the infection, you will have the chance to recover quickly if infected. But people with underlying health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, be it young or elderly, chances of getting infected is higher and will be severely ill in no time.
Any human who is exposed to the virus will get infected. As the immunity power of elderly people and children is weaker than young people, they are more likely to get infected. As a human being, it is your duty to take all the precautions to protect yourself from getting infected and from spreading the virus to others. No matter what age, people of all ages should follow the WHO hygiene instructions.
Wearing Masks Will Prevent The Infection
The surgical face masks will not fit tightly to your face. Hence, you shouldn’t stock up the masks hoping that will save you from getting infected. Unless you use an N95 respirator mask that stays flush on your face, you will be taking the masks of health care workers and patients who need them more than you do.
The sole purpose of the surgical mask is to prevent your droplets from mouth or nose from getting into someone else’s airways. Because coronavirus is a respiratory virus, thus surgical masks cannot block that. If in case you need to wear one [going to a crowded space or to take care of a positive suspect], it should be worn in such a way that there shouldn’t be space for the droplets to go inside the mask from the sides.
People with respiratory disease or cold should wear these to lessen the chances of infecting others as they are effective at capturing droplets from your mouth to anyone else. Wearing surgical masks is mainly for protecting others from you, not the other way round.
Vaccination Is Ready To Cure The Virus
Developing a vaccine that is both effective and safe for human beings is not easy. That will require at least 12 to 18 months of research and hard work. Scientists around the world are studying literally everything about the virus every day to pinpoint any significant clue that could lead them to a successful vaccine. As of now, a respiratory illness vaccine is recommended to protect your health.
Cats And Dogs Will Spread The Virus
The virus is transmitting to humans. Many pets didn’t get infected while their owners did. It is not proven that cats and dogs will spread the virus to humans even if they get infected.
Thermal Scanners Can Diagnose
Thermal scanners can detect people who have a fever when your body temperature is higher than normal body temperature. However, they cannot diagnose whether you are infected or not. Because it takes 2 to 10 days for people who are infected to become sick and develop a fever. You need to go through several tests done by the doctors to know for sure about being infected. Another misconception is that if you got infected, “you will know” which is not true. Not everyone with the virus knew beforehand as it may even take 14 to 27 days to show the symptoms. No thermal scanner can diagnose the virus.
Chinese Food And Products Carry The Virus To Other Countries
Parcels and products from China cannot carry the virus beyond an extended time. The CDC(1) explains that “because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures.” But if you fear getting infected, sanitize the product before touching and wash your hands with soap after touching it(2). You can have Chinese food from New York as they cannot carry the virus.
It is widely believed that the radio signals that 5G uses could cause cancer and other health problems. Even if the controversy of the wireless service causing COVID-19 is not surprising, it is a myth. These wireless networks do not produce energy that directly damages cells. There is no proven link between cellphones and cancer. Hence 5G did not cause coronavirus.
Some of you might kick the coronavirus to the curb saying it is just another flu. Especially when some people experience less severe symptoms and consider the virus as just another flu. Coronavirus is 10 ten times more deadly than seasonal flu that many of you never give a second thought to (3). But with this, it is important that you take precautions.
You Have To Be With An Infected Person For 10 Minutes To Get Infected
It is possible to get infected with shorter interactions too. You can get infected by being with an infected person for less than ten minutes if there is close contact. You will inhale the virus coming out of the infected person in the form of droplets with close contact(4). You can pick up the virus from contaminated surfaces too which is considered as a less common route.
Vaccine For Pneumonia And Flu Will Protect You From COVID
COVID-19 is different from any other virus and it needs its own vaccination that is yet to be found. Vaccination for pneumonia and flu will not provide protection against coronavirus.
Yoga And Other Home Remedies Will Save You
Yoga is a wonderful remedy for living a healthy life. But it cannot cure coronavirus. And there is no home remedy that can save you from coronavirus. If you experience any symptom at all, go to the hospital immediately to get tested. Do not waste your time by doing yoga or making home remedies to find a cure yourself.
Holding Breath For 10 Seconds Confirms You Are Not Infected
Social media is floating with many “test-yourself” misleading tests that many of us fall for. One of them is trying to hold the breath for 10 seconds to know if you are infected or not. No tests at home done yourself can diagnose the virus. To get the proper diagnosis, you need several laboratory tests done by your doctor. If you feel shortness of breath or breathing difficulties, call your healthcare provider.
The Sun And The Snow Will Kill The Virus
This is one of the widely spread myths about coronavirus(5). According to WHO, the virus can be transmitted in all areas of the globe, including hot climates. Neither the cold weather and snow nor sun exposure and humid climate will kill the virus. Taking a hot bath won’t cure coronavirus nor will it prevent getting infected.
Standing in the sun will not help you from coronavirus. It is yet to prove that temperature changes will influence COVID-19 any differently. The normal body temperature will continue to remain around 36.5°C to 37°C, no matter what the external temperature is.
Spraying Alcohol And Chlorine On The Body Is Prevention
If the virus has entered your body, no matter what you do, the damage is done. You cannot alter the damage by spraying your body with alcohol or chlorine because the virus will be inside the body. This is an outright dangerous myth people believe in! Rubbing alcohol or chlorine will cause serious health problems, even death. Do not spray these harmful disinfectants on your body or clothes as they are not prevention against the virus.
There is no evidence yet that coronavirus can be transmitted through mosquitoes. The virus is transmitted through the droplets coming from an infected when they cough or sneeze, not through mosquitoes.
Taking Antibiotics And Vitamin C Supplements Will Help You Cure The Virus
Like we have discussed already, the novel coronavirus needs its own medicine to be cured of it completely. No amount of vitamin C supplements will help you cure the virus. Yes, vitamin C will help you boost your immune system, not cure the virus. Stocking up antibiotics and taking them regularly will not help you either. Antibiotics should be taken to fight the bacteria in your body, not coronavirus.
You Will Get Infected Through Blood Donation
Another myth about coronavirus is that you will get infected if you donate your blood. As the number of people getting infected is increasing, there will be a shortage of blood in hospitals. There are many patients who need blood. You will only get infected if they use the same syringe, which no hospital would do. The blood donation unit of the hospitals will be secured from the COVID-19 units with extra safety measures. You don’t have to worry about getting infected through blood donation.
Using Alcohol-based Hand Sanitizer Will Set Your Hands On Fire
In order for your hands to be safe from getting infected, you need to use alcohol-based hand sanitizers to kill the virus. But that doesn’t mean that your hands will get on fire. Unless you take loads of hand sanitizer and go near the fire, you will be fine. You should take a drop or two of the sanitizer and rub your hands together and within seconds the moisture will be evaporated. After your hands are dry, you are in no danger. As alcohol-based sanitizers are inflammable, keeping the bottle near the fire will set it on fire though. Keep the bottles away!
Drinking-Water, Eating Garlic, Lemon, And Herbs Will Prevent The Virus
We know that it is important to always stay hydrated. Always. We drink more water when we are sick. But drinking water will not save you from getting infected. Water cannot flush the virus that gets into your mouth to your stomach. No, it doesn’t work that way.
While garlic is good for your immune system, eating it cannot protect you from being infected. Neither lemon nor herbs will prevent the virus.
Rinsing The Nose With Saline And Gargling The Mouth With Bleach Is The Answer
Rinsing the nose with saline will help you recover quickly from a common cold, but not the coronavirus. It is pointless to try rinsing your nose with saline to fight the virus. Another absurd and dangerous myth about coronavirus is gargling your mouth with bleach to protect yourself. The only way to protect yourselves from the virus is frequent hand washing, avoiding touching mouth, nose, and eyes, and isolation. No amount of bleach, alcohol or saline will protect you from the virus.
Prevention is better than cure, right? Take your stand and protect yourselves from getting infected and misinformed. Close your eyes and ears to the many easily believable myths about the virus without confirming what’s right and wrong. Because misconceptions of what can protect you will harm you in the end. Do not fall for these aforesaid myths about the coronavirus. So, educate yourself and others, stay home, and stay healthy. A little part of you might make a big difference to the global pandemic.
[The information here is for informational purposes and not as medical advice. Do not hesitate to contact a qualified health provider to know about your medical condition.]
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (n.d). Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) FAQ. [online] Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html
- The Johns Hopkins University. (2020). TRUE or FALSE? A vaccine to cure COVID-19 is available. [online] Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/2019-novel-coronavirus-myth-versus-fact
- National Center for Biotechnology Information. (n.d). The epidemiological characteristics of an outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus diseases (COVID-19). [online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32064853
- CBS Interactive. (n.d). 8 coronavirus health myths, fact-checked. [online] Available at: https://www.cnet.com/news/johns-hopkins-pandemic-expert-says-coronavirus-covid-19-is-totally-unprecedented/
- WHO. (2020). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters. [online] Available at: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters