What is perhaps inevitable is that when some major event happens, conspiracy theories and myths take off. This is not unique to COVID-19, it happens with any and every major event.
It might be tempting to simply roll your eyes and ignore it, but not addressing some of these myths will indeed have consequences.
Take for example the thought that it is all simply a media myth and is nothing to be really concerned about. An alternative to that is the idea that it is simply a conspiracy to crash the economy and establish a new world order, or a Democrat conspiracy to turn people against Trump.
What Happens if we don’t take it seriously?
If we did nothing at all, and permitted it to spread through the US population with no hand-washing and no social distancing, then how many people would die?
The data from the Imperial College London (Dated 16th March) is that if no action is taken then 2.2 Million people will die in the US.
If however we do take it seriously and put in place social distancing, then that number is a lot lower. The University Of Washington projection (as of 5th April) is that it would be as low as 81,000 by Aug 4th.
Bottom line: Doing nothing is not an option. We have to take this very seriously.
COVID-19 Myths – Resources
When it comes to supposed cures or preventative steps, there are also many many myths.
The World Health Organization debunks the most common of these. They address these …
- Exposing yourself to the sun or to temperatures higher than 25C degrees DOES NOT prevent the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- You can recover from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Catching the new coronavirus DOES NOT mean you will have it for life.
- Being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort DOES NOT mean you are free from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or any other lung disease.
- Drinking alcohol does not protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous
- COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
- Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the new coronavirus.
- Taking a hot bath does not prevent the new coronavirus disease
- The new coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites
- Are hand dryers effective in killing the new coronavirus?
- Can an ultraviolet disinfection lamp kill the new coronavirus?
- How effective are thermal scanners in detecting people infected with the new coronavirus?
- Can spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body kill the new coronavirus?
- Do vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the new coronavirus?
- Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
- Can eating garlic help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
- Does the new coronavirus affect older people, or are younger people also susceptible?
- Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus?
- Are there any specific medicines to prevent or treat the new coronavirus?
There are of course many other great debunking sites.
Myths vs Facts
During the Great Plague it was believed by some that cats were the cause, so vast numbers of cats were killed. Sadly we now know that the actual transmission was via rats, and so killing all the cats who would have killed many rats made a very bad situation rather dire.
Understanding what is true and what is not can be a life or death decision. We need to pay attention to the subject matter experts, not the conspiracy theorists.
In other words …
- No it is not 5G, or an escaped bioweapon, or a grand conspiracy to crash the economy
- Yes it is very serious
Right now we appear to be conducting a large scale experiment.
Right across the US different states are taking different approaches. Some are going for a complete lockdown, others, not so much. This is really not an experiment we should be conducting.