Popular Coronavirus Myths That Need Busting

Dr. Hira Tanveer

3 min read

coronavirus-myths

Originating in Wuhan, China, and spreading to the rest of the world like wildfire, coronavirus has the world paralyzed for over 6 months now. A novel virus, COVID-19 has posed all sorts of challenges to the people everywhere; whether it be the developed world or the developing world, the damages have been great.

Since it is a respiratory disease, the control of its spread it extremely hard, especially since the world now is extremely close-knit. The only other source of hope is a vaccine, which all the scientists across the world are trying to make. Due to a dearth of research over the virus, it has been extremely challenging to produce the vaccine.

However, that is not the only challenge that has come with the lack of knowledge regarding the disease. There is also a lot of unsubstantiated and dangerous information being spread about the coronavirus as well. With the social media running free and wild, it is hard to control some of the more popular coronavirus myths. Much like the ones we are debunking below:

Wearing a mask will protect me from getting the virus.

There are 3 types of masks being used for protection. One is the respiratory masks or the N95 grade masks offer barrier against 95% of the particles and has very close-fitting. Most of the times, these are produced per the dimension of the face, such tight is the fit. These masks are best suited for the front-line personnel as they need maximum protection. The regular public does not wear these masks.

The other types are the surgical and cloth masks. While these both are effective to prevent the spread of the disease, they also have a lot of uncertainty in their effectiveness due to their structure and looseness.

Hence, the people who assume that if they wear these masks, they will remain virus-free, are mistaken. Sure, the odds of getting the virus are decreased, however, they are not diminished altogether. This is one of the more dangerous coronavirus myths.

Virus is nothing but common cold

Initially, the symptoms of the virus resembled those of the common cold, however, the trend of the symptoms has also started varying. Also, the mortality rate of the virus has also been relatively less as the world has witnessed more ruthless forms of virus. This has allowed the famous coronavirus myth that it’s merely a cold to run wild. However, the virus is anything but benign.

With time has come newer information with regards to the virus. It is the most blot-clotting virus and hence poses high risk of stroke. Similarly, coronavirus also causes central and peripheral nerve damage –permanent and temporary both. Serious and lifelong diseases like Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) also have been shown to be caused by coronavirus.

Alongside lethal diseases like ARDS (Acute respiratory distress syndrome), multiple organ failure has also been reported in the patients. Hence, to shrug off the virus has a simple cold is criminal negligence when it can claim lives and cause severe debilitation as well.

Ingesting or bathing in the disinfectant or bleach will protect against the virus

Due to the irresponsible statement from a political person, the coronavirus myth that started running wild was ingesting with disinfectant will clean the virus from within. However, this is simply not true and can result in serious repercussions and even death in extreme circumstances.

 The bleaches and disinfectants are not safe for drinking. They are made for cleaning surfaces only. Rather than attempting the deep inner cleanse, washing hands and observing basic hygiene helps to lower the probability of getting the virus.

Young people are sort of immune to the virus

The frisky behavior on the part of young people due to this coronavirus myth has been very damaging. Older people suffer from greater number of diseases and hence have compromised immunity. However, the virus is not exclusive to them.

 Young people can also have weakened immune systems. While yes greater number of older people have died, many from the generation y have also succumbed to the virus. Hence, it is best for everyone to follow protocols to protect against the virus and avoid all information that is based on these coronavirus myths.

Only people who are sneezing, coughing or have a fever have the virus

It is not possible to know who has the virus merely by hinging on the apparent symptoms of the virus, as many people can also be asymptomatic. Moreover, the incubation period for the virus is somewhat long, hence it is possible to tell from early on that if a person has the virus.

Therefore, anyone can be a potential carrier of the virus and thus it is best to follow the SOPs in all regards.

COVID-19 was deliberately created as a part of political espionage

Coronavirus is not an isolated case of an epidemic. Zika virus, SARS, Ebola, H1N1 all have been witnessed by people in recent history. Hence, unless there is some tangible evidence to corroborate this bit of information, it is best not to believe in such coronavirus myths.

The virus will die in the heat

While certain pathogens are heat sensitive, however, coronavirus is not one of them. Rather, coronavirus is independent of the weather. Hence, neither the heat of the summers or the chill of the winters will kill the virus.

Whenever accosted with some information, it is best to substantiate through valid sources yourself before forwarding it. During pandemics, mental state is also very compromised, and such myths can do a lot of damage.

It is important you take as many precautions as you can and If you or someone you know is showing symptoms then get tested immediately. You can book a COVID-19 test via oladoc.com or by calling at 042-38900939.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Hira Tanveer - Author Dr. Hira Tanveer is an MBBS doctor and currently serving at CMH Lahore. Writing is her favorite hobby as she loves to share professional advice on trendy healthcare issues, general well-being, healthy diet, and lifestyle.