It is undeniable that the coronavirus outbreak has changed life as we know it. Each day, there is a lot of new information (and misinformation) released by various news sources, and no one knows what to believe. First, let’s press pause on all the anxiety! While a lot is unknown and out of our control, we are here to dispel a few myths that have been circulating.
Let’s start with an important question: how does the coronavirus spread?
The World Health Organization states that the main form of transmission is infected respiratory droplets that are released by someone who is infected with COVID-19. “Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth.” As a result, it is imperative that we all practice social distancing and disinfect our surroundings as much as possible. The main point is to keep these droplets away from you!
So, let’s set the record straight…
1. Yes, people of ALL ages are susceptible to the coronavirus.
Even if you are not considered elderly or someone with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) you CAN still become infected or become a carrier of the virus.
2. No, cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the virus.
Many viruses actually get an added layer of protection when their outer layer hardens from the cold weather. Check out Insiders article about the impact of cold weather on the coronavirus.
3. Heat does not KILL the virus.
There are many rumors going around that taking a hot bath or using hand dryers are effective – the thinking is that high enough temperatures will burn the living soul out of the virus. But, as the WHO states, hot weather and/or hot water does not necessarily kill the virus. The best we can hope is that warmer weather provides an unfavorable living environment for the virus.
4. The coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites.
It is easy to see why this may be a misunderstanding as there are known diseases transmitted via mosquitoes. However, an article by pestworld.org clearly identifies mosquitoes and flies as vector pests that can only carry certain types of diseases. Luckily, the coronavirus does not fill that profile.
5. There is NO evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can transmit the coronavirus.
However, just yesterday the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in a US-based animal. A Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo named Nadia was diagnosed with the virus over the weekend. While it is possible for humans to give the coronavirus to animals, there has been no evidence to suggest animals can pass the virus to humans.
6. Ultraviolet light SHOULD NOT be used for sterilization and can cause skin irritation
Ultraviolet light can not only cause irritations, but might actually cause a bad sunburn. Sunburns can enlarge your skin pores and weaken the skin barrier which, in turn, can make the burn susceptible to infections, or…a certain virus!
7. Thermal scanners CAN detect if people have a fever but CANNOT detect whether or not someone has the coronavirus
If you believe you have flu-like symptoms such as high fever, call or email your doctor’s office to get immediate advice and more tailored information. For a list of coronavirus symptoms and a self-checker widget, visit cdc.org.
8. To date, there is NO specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the coronavirus.
Regularly rinsing your nose with saline or vaccines against pneumonia or influenza DO NOT provide protection against the coronavirus. Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body WILL NOT kill viruses – but it makes a good TikTok video.
9. There is NO evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the coronavirus.
Garlic tastes good and is good for you, but it protects you from vampires – not viruses. Nevertheless, you should continue eating healthy foods to promote an active immune response and lower your chances of becoming infected.
10. Antibiotics DO NOT work against viruses, antibiotics only work against bacteria.
Again there is no known cure for the coronavirus at this time. The best thing we can do is lower our chances of infection by participating in the following prevention methods: wash your hands for 20 seconds, do not touch your face or eyes, take social distancing seriously and consistently disinfect your gadgets and surroundings.