- COVID-19 can infect people of any age.
- Viral particles can still penetrate the thin material of disposable face masks.
- There is no evidence to support the claim that warmer temperatures kill the virus.
With the continued spread of COVID-19, paranoia has started to take over. We are constantly being fed truckloads of information from various news outlets, so much so that it is growing harder to tell what “truths” are legitimately rooted in fact and which are based solely in rumor. It is necessary to remain vigilant and take precautions to help flatten the curve, but it is also important to examine what we know in order to reduce fear and in some cases, false hope. The following is a list of ten misconceptions about COVID-19.
10. Bat Soup
This whole thing began with a bowl of bat soup.
Sounds so crazy it must be true. Well, it is not. There is no evidence to support this claim. The myth first spread like wildfire when a video of a Chinese woman eating an entire bat in a bowl of soup surfaced online. This video sparked international outrage. Many people still blame Chinese eating habits as the cause of the outbreak. But in truth, the video was shot in 2016 on the island country of Palau.
Experts are having a difficult time pinpointing the exact source of COVID-19, but scientists are confident that the virus began with an infected animal, suggesting it was initially spread due to animal-to-person contact.
9. COVID-19 and the Flu
What is the big deal? COVID-19 is no different than the flu.
This is incorrect, although it is easy to see why one would think that. They share many of the same symptoms: fever, cough, body aches. Both can be mild or severe and in many cases even lead to pneumonia. However, COVID-19 is the bigger threat as the mortality rate is much higher than that of the flu.
8. Who Is Vulnerable?
Tired of social media blowing up with teenagers who think they are immune because they have been blessed with youth? One supposed truth about COVID-19 is that it only affects the older generation and people with pre-existing medical conditions. This is false. The virus can infect people of any age. It should be noted, however, that older people and those with health issues are more likely to develop severe symptoms as a result of COVID-19.
7. Children Are Invincible
This correlates to the point above, but it bears repeating twice. There is a misconception that children under ten are somehow immune. This “truth” was probably born out of optimistic-looking statistics. For example, in China, only 1% of victims are from that age bracket. Early evidence indicates that children are just as likely to become infected, but that their symptoms will probably be less severe than other demographics.
Pet owners can breathe a sigh of relief. There is no hard scientific evidence to support the theory that pets can contract or spread COVID-19. A 17-year-old Pomeranian in China was tested and received a “weak” positive, but other factors including age and health throw the dog’s case into doubt.
5. Face Masks
Healthcare workers wear face masks, so it stands to reason that the public should as well, right?
Wrong. In addition to gowns and gloves, healthcare workers wear professional face masks that remove viral particles form the air. Disposable masks available to the public do not fit snuggly on the face and are so cheap that viral particles can still penetrate the thin material directly. The only time they help is if someone already has a respiratory illness, but in this case, they are wearing it to protect others, not themselves.
4. Pneumonia Vaccines
Because the virus can cause respiratory infections that lead to other serious illnesses, many people believe that pneumonia vaccines work against COVID-19. However, the virus is too different and demands its own proper vaccine. Researchers and health experts are currently attempting to develop one.
3. Chemical Protection
Do not spray chlorine all over your body in an attempt to protect yourself against COVID-19. While it can be used to disinfect certain surfaces, rubbing it on your skin will do nothing if the virus is already in your body.
Furthermore, do not under any circumstances gargle with bleach to disinfect your mouth. It is a corrosive substance and can cause serious long-lasting damage. The best means to protect yourself is to frequently wash your hands and to self-isolate if possible.
2. Hot Temperatures
Many people are praying for spring to arrive quickly because COVID-19 cannot survive in hot climates. Unfortunately, this is not true. There is no evidence to support the idea that warmer temperatures kill the virus. It can be carried and spread in all areas regardless of weather.
1. Imported Products From China
If you order a package online from China, are you liable to contract COVID-19? Probably not. Expert researchers have concluded that the virus does not stay active long on inorganic surfaces. It is possible to contract the virus by interacting with an object that has been touched by an infected person, but not one that has been in transit for days or weeks. It is easier to fall prey to COVID-19 from direct or near contact with the victims themselves.