8 Common Coronavirus Myths & Incorrect COVID-19 Facts: Debunked

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Coronavirus Myths COVID-19 facts

In December 2019, Wuhan, China was the first place to encounter an outbreak of the new coronavirus known as COVID-19.

​A highly-contagious virus that is spread primarily from person to person, COVID-19 presents flu-like symptoms such as high fevers, dry throats, and fatigue. People who are infected often do not show symptoms for up to 10-14 days, but you can (and likely will) contract COVID-19 if you are near someone who has this virus and coughs/sneezes within 6 feet of you, as the virus can be suspended in droplets of air for up to 3 hours at a time.

Because coronavirus can survive for hours on surfaces, it's possible to contract it by touching someone or something and then proceeding to touch your eyes, mouth, and nose. According to an article published by Harvard Medical School on March 17, 2020, "A recent study found that the COVID-19 coronavirus can survive up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel."

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The United States is currently experiencing the first phase of COVID-19, and what's called "community spread" or "community transmission" (when one person is infected without knowing they've been in contact with someone else who was already infected) is the main reason why so many people are contracting the illness so quickly. Most of the cases are coming from people returning other infected areas of the world, unknowingly having been in close contact with someone who was already sick and bringing it back to their own homes and communities.

These are very troubling times and the anxiety that comes alongside making efforts to protect our families and friends are at an all-time high. According to the data collected by the Center for Disease Control so far, people who are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 are adults ages 60+ and people who have underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and chronic lung conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Many people and communities have been "panic shopping", over-stocking and creating a shortage of essential household supplies typically found at local grocery stores. Things like toilet paper, bleach, disinfectant wipes and sprays and hand sanitizer have been sold out in stores across the country for days.

In an attempt to prevent the rapid spread of coronavirus, President Trump has urged the public (based on the CDC's recommendation) to lessen time outside and avoid large gatherings of more than 10 people. Many companies and organizations have already implemented (or have started to devise a plan for) a “work from home” system, giving people the opportunity to work remotely at home, where they can self-quarantine and practice social distancing.

With every pandemic comes a lot of misunderstandings, incorrect facts and myths, and COVID-19 is no different. Take a look at a few of the most common coronavirus myths circulating the internet that are in need of debunking so we can lessen the spread of misinformation.

1. Can COVID-19 survive in warm weather?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the virus can be spread through any and every type of weather. Based on the data they have found so far, it is not plausible to say the weather can prevent how far coronavirus can spread.

2. Can mosquitos spread the coronavirus?

There has been no evidence to say the new coronavirus can be transferred through mosquitos. According to an article on Healthline, because this is a respiratory virus, the only way to contract COVID-19 is if you are near someone who is infected and coughs or sneezes near/around you — not through blood.

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3. Young people cannot contract COVID-19?

Unfortunately, people can absolutely become infected with the coronavirus — no matter their age. Although the main concern of younger, healthier people contracting COVID-19 is spreading it to their families and communities, anyone with underlying health conditions is easily susceptible to experience more serious symptoms due to the coronavirus.

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4. If I don't show symptoms of coronavirus, I don't have it... right?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you may not experience symptoms of coronavirus for 2-14 days after coming in contact with someone who has been infected. Meaning you could be infected and contagious without ever showing symptoms. If you have a fever running higher than normal, a dry cough and trouble breathing, please do not hesitate to contact your doctor and ask for COVID-19 testing.

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5. Will spraying disinfectants on myself or drinking alcohol will kill the virus?

Do not spray yourself with any disinfectants, and no, drinking alcohol of any kind will not kill the virus once it's inside of your body. If you have already been in contact with the coronavirus, disinfecting the outside of your body is useless since it is already inside of your system. Chlorine and disinfecting sprays are only useful to outside surfaces, not your body.

Take a look at this video below which reviews all of the various ways people think of disinfecting their body of a virus that will NOT work (and likely hurt you in the process):

6. Would I be protected from COVID-19 if I get a pneumonia shot?

No, because of how new COVID-19 is, there are no vaccines developed yet to protect against it. In an article by Fox News, a former medical epidemiologist and agency chief medical officer at CDC, Dr. Robert Amler, explained that a pneumococcal vaccine to prevent against that particular respiratory infection won't be effective in preventing pneumonia caused by COVID-19. So although researchers are diligently working towards creating a vaccine, do not go to a doctor's office and ask for the pneumonia or flu shot, as it will not help prevent coronavirus from entering your body.

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7. Will eating a lot of garlic help protect me from COVID-19?

Although garlic contains a lot of vitamins and healing properties, it will not prevent anyone from contracting the coronavirus. There is no evidence to prove it can help protect you from COVID-19. Instead, stock up on vitamins and minerals to help strengthen your immune system in the case of you contracting the virus.

8. Do anti-inflammatory painkillers (ibuprofen) aggravate COVID-19?

Health experts have stated that there is little to no evidence suggesting that ibuprofen can worsen the effects of coronavirus, and you can use it if needed to help alleviate the pain that comes along with fighting the virus if you do get infected. If you're showing symptoms of COVID-19, reach out to your doctor for advice on the best way to cope with the symptoms.

It's important to stay calm and resilient through these times. Practice social distancing, as it will lessen the odds of you or your loved ones from contracting the coronavirus. Wash your hands frequently and be sure to disinfect all surfaces and doorknobs in your homes. Be practical and shop for foods that are non-perishable. Keep your family close and create a safe space for your children who will not be in school for however long this goes on!

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Destiny Duprey is a writer who covers music, self-care, and spirituality.

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