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Corona Myths: 5 Myths About the Pandemic Debunked

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As the pandemic’s impact gets under control in some parts of the world – it seems like we will come out of it without major losses to human life. That said and done, we are yet to reach that stage of absolute comfort. There is still a long way to go and we have to keep cooperating with the authorities.

One key aspect of cooperating is stopping a rumour as soon as we see one. Social media has connected us all and just the way COVID-19 spreads in communities, false news and myths are commonly spread across social media circles. The reason – we believe statements that come from our near & dear ones, without verifying the source’s authenticity.

So, before getting into the moral lesson, let’s quickly get through 5 myths that have been propagating about Coronavirus across social media:

Myths That Have Been Propagating About COVID- 1

Myth 1. If you don’t have a sanitizer at your place, use alcohol for washing hands.

This message was doing circles across family WhatsApp groups in India and even on some Facebook posts. The key problem with such myths is that they rationalize ignorance. The reason given behind the ‘supposed validity’ of this suggestion is that most effective hand-sanitizers contain alcohol; so why not use the drink itself. The key difference to be understood here is the term ‘concentration’.

Hand sanitizers, especially the ones recommended by doctors, have an alcoholic content higher than 60%. The alcoholic beverages we consume don’t have a concentration touching even half of this percentage. Hence, they will not help you maintain the necessary hygiene.

Along with this – if you have a bar of soap at your house, you can use it for cleaning your hands. As far as you are washing your hands for at least 20 seconds in a go with a washing agent, you are in the right direction.

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Myth 2. Corona can’t spread in cold/hot/humid climates

Florida is one of the warmest states in the USA and it had a rapid spread of Corona. Similarly, Mumbai has a humid climate and yet the pandemic broke across masses. Canada has snow for a large part of the year – yet, it is seeing more Corona cases than ever.

All of this goes to show that the climatic conditions of the city you stay in, by themselves are not sufficient to give you any immunity against COVID-19. Practice social distancing, maintain hygiene and follow the instructions laid out by WHO and the Government of India.

Myth 3. Stock painkillers and antibiotics – they can kill the Coronavirus

WHO has clearly stated on its website that so far, no antibiotics or painkillers have been developed to effectively cure Coronavirus. Most of the countries that are facing the pandemic break out are hardly able to get access to the necessary diagnostic technology, let alone the cures. Although several research teams worldwide have started showing signs of possible formulations that may work effectively against the virus, nothing substantial has been introduced at scale so far.

This goes to show that painkillers and antibiotics will not help you with our fight against Coronavirus. Hoarding and stocking it might be considered illegal under the current circumstances. At the same time, unnecessary and unsupervised consumption of antibiotics and painkillers can lead to health hazards as severe as Coronavirus, if not more.

Myth 4: Eat garlic and turmeric to get rid of Coronavirus

Both garlic and turmeric have good antimicrobial properties. This is the reason why they are used in many Indian households to cure common diseases. That said – no lab results have shown the efficacy of any of these two, against Coronavirus. The logic applicable to painkillers and antibiotics applies here as well. We all understand that food supply will be limited for the time being.

Hence, it is our duty as the citizens of India and the world to ensure that we are buying only what’s critically important for our existence. Garlic and turmeric are good in themselves but don’t have any impact on the COVID-19 virus.

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Myth 5: Corona is aggressive only among the older generations

One of the more dangerous myths about Corona is the statement that it is aggressive only on older generations. The number of new patients clearly shows that the virus can spread among both younger and older people. Yes, the truth of the matter is that it may have a more severe impact on people with lower immunities. But that does not mean that the younger generations, by the virtue of being younger, are immune.

In Conclusion – How to recognize, filter and block myths

First and foremost – understand this, a myth is as dangerous as sending a placebo medicine to masses in these times. It may give temporary relief to the mind, but it has no impact on the medical condition whatsoever. Besides, some myths can prove to be lethal in these times.

So, how do you protect yourself and your loved ones against getting trapped with these myths? Here’s what you do:

  1. Check every statement and message you receive on social media and other forms of communication. If you see a claim being made, immediately start verifying it.
  2. Generally, the WHO website and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare are commendable sources for fact-checking. You will find reliable information and advisory in these places.
  3. If you find that a statement is false – immediately contact the person you received it from. Confront the person and tell her about the importance of fact-checking. Give her the resources to do so, like the websites which have data on COVID-19.
  4. If the person does not want to engage in the conversation, block the message. Along with this, put a message on social media updating people about the myth, the truth and the useful links you used to reach the truth.
  5. Tell all your loved ones about these practices.

Coronavirus is as much a war of social unity and communication, as it is a war against a virus. And with some cooperation, homework and proactivity – we can win it.

1 Comment

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