COVID-19 myth can be dangerous, extremely so, because of the sensitivity of the current global pandemic situation. Rather than blindly believe in any message you were forwarded through WhatsApp, Hangout or FB messenger, I highly recommend you to fact check through WHO.
Most of the countries have employed strict restrictions on international travel right now. It is predicted that the travel restrictions will be slowly eased, with some mandatory safety protocols to be followed. You can get all the information you may need related to Corona virus in WHO portal. However, if you want to skip over all the boring technical jargons and get straight to what you need to know, you’ve come to the right place.
Let me take you on a short educational tour to the COVID-19 myths, COVID-19 Q&A and COVID-19 facts. The source of the information is WHO, so you can be rest assured I’m not just ignorantly misleading you.
COVID-19 myth busters (source WHO)
COVID-19 is a disease plaguing most of the world right now, it’s caused by SARS-CoV-2, which is a new Corona virus. A report of a viral pneumonia was reported in Wuhan, which is situated in People’s Republic of China. This led to 31 December, 2019, when WHO learned about this virus.
Myth #1; Corona virus does not stop spreading due to hot weather
You remember the times when it all started and it was a widespread belief among people that humidity heat or hot weather can stop the spread of COVID-19. It is a myth. Not because I am saying it but because World Health Organization itself mentions this fact. Rather than betting your life on the weather conditions, how about, you just follow the right safety protocols, maintain your hand hygiene, as well as keep social distancing?
Countries that usually have hot weathers conditions have reported average to high number of COVID-19 cases.
Myth #2; hot peppers or garlic, is not going to cure you of COVID-19
Are you one of those people that thing Peppers or garlic are natural remedy against COVID-19. Neither of those above mentioned vegetables prevent or cure scored 19. You might also think, that Peppers are hot, and as hot things are said to be helpful against the spread of the virus, it might be the same case here. Or, did you think that because garlic helps kill some microbes, it might also help killing corona virus?
It pains me to say it, but it is not that easy to get rid of that virus, or else, we might not have been in this pandemic that we are in right now. Stop listening to self proclaimed gurus, follow the doctors advice and WHO protocols. Please listen only to the experts advice. Contact your doctors, do not self medicate. Get proper prescription from expert practitioners of this craft.
Myth #3; Alcoholism is neither a cure or prevention measure against COVID-19
Do you remember during the last summer of 2020, there were lots of messages and Facebook forwards, claiming the effectiveness of alcohol against the Corona virus? People were so sure of this that the line between myth and fact became blurred. I cannot actually blame them. Desperate times caused people to grasp onto any possible way to try and save themselves and their loved ones. However according to World Health Organization no amount of alcohol drinking can help you against COVID-19.
Alcoholism is neither a cure or a proper prevention measure against COVID-19. Rather, having extra alcohol in your system can eventually lead to health risks.
Myth #4; methanol, bleach, ethanol or any disinfectant won’t prevent or cure COVID-19
Ethanol, methanol, disinfectants and bleach can act as poisons to human body. Consumption of any of the above, can be extremely harmful to human body. Do not drink them, it will not kill COVID-19 virus that is inside of your body. While these things can be used to clean surface, they are not meant for our intake. You will be only poisoning yourself. Consumption of any of the aforementioned materials may lead to temporary or permanent disability or even death.
COVID-19 Q&A (source WHO)
Are antibiotics helpful against Coronavirus?
COVID-19 or corona virus is, as its name , a virus not a bacteria. Antibiotics are made to work against only bacteria. Do you see where I’m going with this? While doctors made treat the bacterial infections that may happen to COVID patients during the time of their treatment, it is not in fact a cure against the virus.
Do contact your doctor before taking any medication. Self medication can lead to severe harm in the long run. I recommend you to take an experts advice before going ahead with any medication.
Can vitamins or minerals cure COVID-19?
This is a bit more complicated and delicate matter than the rest. You see, vitamins and mineral supplements can help you have a healthy immune system. A healthy immune system can in turn, be a good prevention against the virus.
A well-functioning immune system can help you ward off the more severe effects and eventually recover your health, even if you do end up getting infected by COVID-19. That said, vitamins and minerals are not a cure against COVID-19. However, they are quite significant in building a healthy immunity.
Does taking a hot bath help against COVID cases?
Your internal body temperature remains unaffected despite the water being hot. Which in turn means, the Corona virus does not get affected in its spread. That does not mean there are no benefits to regular shower and proper hygiene. A hot bath is not a cure against the virus, however, proper hygiene may help you ward off the chances of getting infected.
According to WHO, the best way for you to go about it is keep yourself far away from crowds and properly maintain your hand hygiene.
Can pneumonia vaccine cure COVID-19 also?
Taking pneumonia vaccine is not a working measure of prevention or cure against COVID-19. COVID-19 has its own vaccines. However, it is highly recommended by WHO to take pneumonia vaccines, which can be help prevent the risk of pneumonia.
Can hand dryers help prevent Coronavirus?
Hand dryers help dry your hand. That’s it. There is no hidden benefit that the experts are hiding from you. More often than not, experts are very eager to reveal all that they can. So, you need to listen and follow the safety protocols as advised by doctors. WHO highly recommends people to frequently clean their hands with soap, hand rub and water. Air dryer can then be helpful in frying thus cleaned hands.
Does rinsing the nose with saline solution cure Coronavirus symptoms?
Rinsing you nose frequently with salt water (saline solution), can in some cases, help you recover from the effects of your common cold.
It does not show any effectiveness against COVID-19 however. The virus is more intrusive and dangerous than your common cold. The usual prevention measures against the symptoms might make the symptoms fade temporarily. But, that is not a way to cure or prevent the infection of Corona virus.
Are Ultra-Violet lamps helpful in prevention or cure against COVID-19?
According to WHO, UV lamps can irritate your skin as well as damage your eyes too. There is no evidence that UV lamp can prevent against the COVID-19 virus. It is recommended by experts that rather than using UV lamps, which can be harmful to you, you should choose hand sanitizers or soap to cleanse your hands.
Can mosquito bite or houseflies spread COVID-19?
COVID-19 has been proven to spread from coming in contact with an infected person. When the infected person talks, coughs or sneezes around you, the COVID-19 virus can travel from them to you.
When you touch an infected surface, the virus sticks to your hands, then when you touch your nose, eyes or mouth, you can get infected as well. Until now, according to WHO, there has been no evidence suggesting that mosquito can be carriers of COVID-19. The experts recommend that you should disinfect the surfaces around you as frequently as possible and maintain your hygiene routine as well.
Can thermal scanners be used to detect COVID cases?
If you have been to shopping stores, malls or commercial places, you might have experienced being scanned by the guards on duty. That’s a thermal scanner of a kind, which can detect your body temperature.
This method is used to filter out those with fever, and possible COVID-19 patients. It’s also not entirely reliable. Thermal scanners may help in finding those with fever, but not all COVID patients show symptoms of fever. The infected people do not usually show any symptoms in the first few days. It takes about 2 to 10 days to show fever in new cases.
Recently in the second wave of COVID cases, brought about by the new mutated virulent strand of Corona virus, it has been observed that many cases include patients with no visible symptoms at all.
Can young people get infected with Corona also?
There has been much debate on the topic that whether COVID-19 only dangerous to old people or young people can get infected by COVID-19 also. WHO States that there has been no evidence suggesting that COVID-19 only affects older people. People of all ages should maintain a proper hygiene routine and keep social distancing.
Age is not a measure of possibility of getting infected or not. Whether or not you have been following proper social distancing and hand hygiene protocols is more significant.
With that said, it is true that people of older age, usually above 60, specially who have prior health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease, can get extremely sick. Younger people may have better immunity in most cases, which may help in fighting against the infection.
Should Hydroxychloroquine be used to treat Coronavirus?
If you have been following world political events then you might have come across the tweets of some political leaders about using hydroxychloroquine as a valid cure against COVID-19. According to WHO, that’s not how it works. Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine are usually prescribed as a treatment for malaria. WHO recommends to not self medicate yourself on either of the aforementioned medicines. Neither of the above have proven themselves effective against COVID-19.
Self medication of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, without malaria, can lead to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. So, I strongly recommend that you not follow any advice blindly. Get help from an expert medical practitioner. Follow WHO guidelines. Do not self medicate blindly.
Facts vs Myth (source WHO)
There has been much quarrel about vaccines in media and social media. There are two sides engaged in heated debates. One side is pro-vaccine, while other is anti-vaccine. I’m not a judge of either. However, I do believe WHO, which is a hub of experts from around the globe, knows what it’s talking about.
So let me just give it to you straight what WHO recommends.
According to WHO, Vaccines may cause some side effects, which are usually minor and short-term. Some of the side effects may be, a sore arm or a mild fever. It is true that in extremely rare cases, there is a possibility of serious side effects, but it’s much more possible for you to be severely affected by the disease than the Vaccine. The ratio is heavily on the side of pro-vaccine.
If you are recovering from the effects of COVID-19, it is recommended that you keep the hygiene practices in your routine. It is not impossible that you could get infected again. According to the statistics stated by WHO, most people that get infected with the virus recover. While it is possible for weakness to persist for some time, your immune system will recover eventually if you keep taking care of your health.
WHO recommends that you should get a telephonic advice from a doctor before getting admitted in the hospital. If you have difficulty in breathing and experience high fever however, it is highly recommended to seek medical help as soon as possible.
Age and COVID-19
Age is not a measure of possibility of COVID-19 infection. Anyone and everyone can get infected with COVID-19 if they come in contact with infected person or surface, and stop practicing the social distancing and hand hygiene protocols.
It is highly recommended by WHO to clean your hands with soap, alcoholic hand rub and water.
I understand how these myriad of COVID-19 myth might have spread among people. Some self proclaimed gurus and Preachers, preached about the benefit of random things, to market themselves, understanding the fact clearly that talking anything about Corona virus prevention or cure will gain them attention.
Everyone, no matter the age or any other distinction, should practice social distancing and other safety protocols. Even if you think your immunity is good enough, what if you were wrong? Can you truly take a risk on your and your families lives just because you think yourself immune to the virus? Food for thought.
Please follow the safety measures recommended by medical experts. Don’t believe the random misleading WhatsApp messages, fact check through proper channels before forwarding any messages related to COVID-19.
Keep social distancing. Wash your hands as frequently as you can. Take care of yourself and your family. May God be with you. Stay safe.