There is a lot of misinformation and myths about the pandemic; Coronavirus. Some most circulated misleading information and myths are:
Myth: Coronavirus will go away in the summer season. Heat will kill the virus.
Truth: There were other pandemics previously in many parts of the world. No pandemic followed any hot or cold season. In the coming summer, there will be winter in the Southern Hemisphere and the virus is global.
Hand dryers can’t kill the virus, according to WHO. The organization also says that UV lamps shouldn’t be used to sterilize hands or other areas of the body because the radiation can irritate the skin.
President Donald Trump has previously suggested that heat kills the virus and that because of this, the current outbreak will have dissipated by spring. But public health experts say there’s no way to know this.
Myth: People who get the coronavirus will die.
Truth: WHO estimates the death rate for the virus to be around 3% to 4% globally, based on the information they have, though they expect that number to fall.
People who get coronavirus will typically get sick with a mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness, similar to a common cold. Symptoms include cough, sore throat, headache and a fever that can last for a couple of days. Most of the time, symptoms will go away on their own.
Myth: Coronavirus will spread more due to mosquito bites in summer.
Truth: This infection is spread via respiratory droplets, not blood. Mosquitos don’t increase spread.
Myth: If you can hold your breath for ten seconds without discomfort, you don’t have COVID.
Truth: Most young patients with Coronavirus will be able to hold their breaths for much longer than 10 seconds. And many elderlies without the virus would not be able to do it.
Myth: If the Coronavirus test is not available, donate your blood, the blood bank will test for COVID.
Truth: Blood banks do not test for Coronavirus. They test for other common diseases but not for Corona.
Myth: Drink more water as the virus stays in throat. Water will push it into stomach and the acid in the stomach will kill Coronavirus.
Truth: It’s true that Coronavirus enters through throat but it penetrates into the host cells. We cannot wash it away. Excessive drinking of water will make you run to the toilet.
Myth: All this social distancing is an overreaction. Coronavirus would not cause much damage.
Truth: If we stop the increase of more Corona infections, it will prove that social distance worked best. The virus is still a big deal and social distancing is one the best safety measures, which we must follow.
Myth: Car accidents kill 30,000 people annually, more than Coronavirus. Corona is not a big deal.
Truth: Car accidents are not contagious, their fatalities don’t double every three days, they don’t cause mass panic or a market crash.
Myth: Face masks can protect you from the virus.
Truth: Standard surgical masks which are available at general stores and street shops, cannot protect you from Coronavirus, as they are not designed to block out viral. However, it can help prevent infected people from spreading the virus further
Myth: Hand sanitizers are better than soap and water.
Truth: It’s completely wrong. Soap and water kill and washes away viruses from the skin and clean visible soiling of hands. So, use a soap or handwash. It works best.
Myth: Pets can spread the new coronavirus.
Truth: Several dogs and cats tested positive for a similar virus, SARS-CoV (Corona), during an outbreak in 2003. According to ‘animal health expert’ Vanessa Barrs of City University, “Previous experience with SARS suggests that cats and dogs will not become sick or transmit the virus to humans.”
Myth: COVID-19 is just like the flu.
Truth: Coronavirus causes illness that does, indeed, have flu-like symptoms, such as aches, fever, and cough. Similarly, both COVID-19 and flu can be mild, severe, or, in rare cases, fatal. Both can also lead to pneumonia.
Myth: Kids can’t catch the coronavirus.
Truth: Children can definitely catch COVID-19, though initial reports suggested fewer cases in children compared with adults. A Chinese study from Hubei province released in February found that of more than 44,000 cases of COVID-19, about only 2.2% involved children under age 19.
Myth: One of the best strategies to prevent COVID19 is to clean every doorknob in your home with disinfectants and sanitizers.
Truth: Unfortunately, it’s also wrong. Hand washing/maintaining 6ft distance is best practice. Unless you’re caring for a COVID patient at home, your home surfaces and walls will not be a big risk.
Myth: Coronavirus was deliberately produced and spread by either Americans or Chinese or Israelis militaries and agencies (depending upon your politics).
Truth: It is completely baseless and nonsense. All the major powers and big nations are also facing huge damage and big economic losses.
I tried my best to clarify the above-listed myths in the light of information given by experts like Faheem Younus, Chief Quality Officer and Chief of Infectious Diseases, University of Maryland UCH and Lisa Maragakis, Senior Director of Infection Prevention at Johns Hopkins.
So, take the best precautions and follow all the instructions and safety measures given by the government and public institutions.