The novel coronavirus infection has now been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Yes, we need to be careful and cautious about our daily activities, hygiene routines, and travel plans as well. However, there’s no need to get panicked by the myths getting viral all over the World Wide Web.
We, at Amrutam, request you to take a deep breath, calm down for the next couple of minutes and read this list of debunked myths regarding Covid-19.
Myth 1: Wearing a face mask will protect you from Covid-19
If only it were that easy to avoid a rampant virus. Do you at least see seven out of ten people wearing masks every time you step out of your house? Yes, people everywhere are buying masks out of panic and wearing them without even knowing why one would even need a mask.
So, let us put it out here, as clearly as possible.
One needs to wear a mask only if they’re presenting symptoms or if they’re taking care of infected people.
Wearing a mask will only help in preventing the spread of respiratory droplets which are the main route of transmission for the Covid-19 virus. Hence, people who are sick with symptoms similar to coronavirus infection symptoms can protect others by wearing a mask. Also, if you’re a healthcare professional and/or taking care of a sick person, it is recommended that you wear a mask to prevent coming in contact with the virus.
Please note that only certain models of tight-fitting respirators such as N95 masks can protect the healthcare professionals as well as the infected people. Wearing plain and simple surgical masks being sold on the road-side may not help effectively.
Also, do not buy a mask unless you need one as this panic buying is causing a shortage of masks for the ones who need them.
Myth 2: Covid-19 can be transmitted via products, letters, packages from China or any other impacted countries
Please note that viruses cannot live long without a host body and hence cannot survive for long on packages in transit. Researchers have mentioned that even this new coronavirus does not stay alive for very long on surfaces. Moreover, during the transportation of such packages, it goes through a lot of movement, traveling and is exposed to various conditions and temperatures. Therefore, the chances of survival of the virus on any such surfaces are nil.
If you still want to be careful about being exposed to contamination, you can use a disinfectant to clean that surface before touching it or wash your hands properly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after touching the surface. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer often to keep your hands disinfected and clean.
Myth 3: Pets can spread Covid-19
Global health organizations have confirmed that there is no evidence till now of Coronavirus being spread from pets to humans. However, your pets may test positive for low levels of the pathogen if they catch it from a sick person. It is, therefore, recommended that you stay away from your pets if you’re sick or showing coronavirus like symptoms. Remember that it is always a good practice to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets or animals. This simple habit can protect you from contracting several other bacteria as well. Also, make sure you keep your pets away from large gatherings and public spaces to avoid them catching the pathogen.
Myth 4: Getting infected with Covid-19 is a death sentence
If you’ve read the news and followed the correct facts, you probably know that the death rate of coronavirus is less than 5 percent. Almost 50 percent of all the infected people have now recovered. Among the active cases, only 7 percent of cases are critical and the rest are mild to moderate. The infection has proved to be fatal only for people with previous medical conditions, weaker immune systems, and mostly elderly people. Due to social media, any news spreads like wildfire and it can result in dire situations like shortages of face masks, hand sanitizers, other required supplies for the ones who might need them. This panic is also resulting in shortages of food supplies at certain places and people have started hoarding rations for the next couple of months.
While the world is getting prepared for some kind of apocalypse, healthcare workers have been working nonstop and trying to make people aware of one fact: Covid-19 infection does not mean you’re going to die. This infection is being treated at hospitals worldwide and you can help in the quick recovery of the infected people as well. How? You can calm down and read through the facts. Visit authentic healthcare websites and follow WHO guidelines to ensure proper hygiene routines in your daily lives. Once you’re able to tell the differences between what’s real and what’s not, you’re equipped enough to take care of yourself and others.
Myth 5: Covid-19 affects only older and sick population, so the young and healthy people can relax
People from all age groups can get infected with Covid-19. It’s a fact that the older population and people with pre-existing medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart diseases, other respiratory disorders are more susceptible to the viral infection than the younger and healthier population. However, the illness can still affect people from all age groups and hence, we should follow proper healthcare routines, especially if you’re exhibiting any respiratory symptoms.
According to WHO, you should clean your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. These actions will not only help you from avoiding such respiratory infections but will also help to protect the more vulnerable ones. Moreover, the health workers are also at higher risk of contracting such illnesses as they are being exposed to the virus much more.
Myth 6: Antibiotics can cure Covid-19 infection
Antibiotics work only against bacteria and not against viruses. Therefore, antibiotics cannot be used to treat or prevent novel Coronavirus infection. However, if you’re under hospitalization, you might receive antibiotics for the management of a few symptoms and prevent possible bacterial co-infection.
Myth 7: Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body or swallowing bleach will kill the novel coronavirus
It is recommended that you clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently. But it doesn’t mean you need to bathe in alcohol and that it will kill the new coronavirus. Spraying chlorine or alcohol can be used to disinfect certain surfaces but spraying such substances on your body or clothes can be extremely dangerous. Neither does swallowing bleach will help kill any viruses but rather it will result in fatal circumstances.
Myth 8: Novel Coronavirus emerged from a lab in China
The rumor that has been doing rounds all around the globe that the novel coronavirus was bioengineered in a lab in Wuhan is nothing but what it is – a rumor. The researchers have proved that this is not true and that the source of this virus is from nature, more particularly, the wildlife.
Myth 9: People can get infected with Covid-19 by consuming seafood, chicken, any other meat or even Chinese food
A few of the first Covid-19 cases were indeed connected to a live animal food market which includes selling seafood as well as other wildlife. However, this is not proof that consuming seafood or meat products miles away will result in getting infected with Coronavirus. Neither does it make sense when someone says that eating Chinese food will get you infected with Covid-19. This virus does not spread through food. It spreads through the respiratory droplets of infected people. As long as you’re not in contact with a person infected with Covid-19, you’re safe.
Myth 10: There’s a vaccine for Covid-19 available
Right now, there’s no vaccine available for Covid-19. Clinical trials for a vaccine have begun in the United States of America funded by the National Institutes of Health. However, it might take at least 12 to 18 months to validate a potential vaccine for Covid-19.
Meanwhile, take proper care of yourself and your loved ones. If you’re feeling sick with flu-like symptoms, isolate yourself until you get better. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Avoid touching your face, nose, and mouth. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Be aware of the facts and make people around you aware of the correct information as well.
Be safe, everyone!