The number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Philippines keeps rising. As the virus continues to spread, though, so does the false information about it. Ultimately, this causes undue worry among the public. In a way, it’s worse than the outbreak itself.
You have probably been gripped with anxiety the last few days that it left you with the urge to go on a panic buying spree. While there are a lot of things not known yet about coronavirus, one thing’s for sure: the best action steps for it don’t come from a place of fear. Instead, the most effective weapon against the coronavirus scare is right and accurate information.
With that, here’s a rundown of the popular myths you should stop believing, as they’re countered by COVID-19 facts:
Myth: The novel coronavirus is human-made.
Truth: It comes from animals, particularly bats.
Photo courtesy of CDC via Unsplash
There’s a lot of conspiracy theories surrounding the new coronavirus. The most popular is that it’s a biological weapon concocted in Chinese laboratories. In some respects, it has raised safety concerns. But mostly, it has increased racism and hatred, not just for Chinese, but for Asians in general.
The truth is, this is but a big piece of misinformation spreading online about the coronavirus’ origin. There’s no evidence that the labs are engaged in bioweapon research. Moreover, experts believe that bats are the source of the coronavirus. As studies show, the microbes in these animal species have almost displayed a perfect match in terms of genetic material with the virus triggering COVID-19. Doctors believe that the outbreak started in a live animal market in Wuhan, China, the ground zero of the epidemic.
If you’ve ever been to China recently or any infected countries abroad, it’s essential to monitor your health for at least two weeks, taking note of coronavirus symptoms. This includes fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, and difficulty in breathing.
Myth: The novel coronavirus could spread through flies.
Truth: There’s simply no scientific evidence backing up this claim.
Photo courtesy of eberhard grossgasteiger via Pexels
This myth made the headlines after some residents in Capas, Tarlac, feared for their health and safety when Filipino repatriates from Wuhan were quarantined at the Athlete’s Village in New Clark City. But the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) shushed these worries, saying that there’s no evidence that flies or any insect, for that matter, can be carriers of the virus.
What we know, so far, is that the disease-causing microbes can be passed on through tiny droplets expelled when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This is why the Department of Health (DOH) recommends regular hand washing and social distancing, as well as disinfecting places at home. Thus, this might be the perfect time to finally organize your condo maintenance checklist, making sure that the surroundings are clean.
Myth: You can get the virus through packages from overseas.
Truth: The risk of this kind of transmission is low.
Photo courtesy of Macau Photo Agency via Unsplash
Yes, coronavirus can stay on surfaces, as they’re discharged from an infected person through sneezing and coughing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, there’s a low chance that you can get it from receiving a package from China or any other place abroad, for that matter, as these are shipped over days or weeks.
So if you’re wondering if you can open that new make-up set you ordered a few months ago online, go ahead. There’s no harm in it.
Myth: The novel coronavirus can be treated by drinking bleach.
Truth: This can only do more harm than good.
Photo courtesy of JESHOOTS.com via Unsplash
Perhaps in a desperate move to kill coronavirus, a lot of people think that bleach can help treat the disease. But the thing is, this substance will only put your health all the more at risk. As the chemical stays in your stomach, your internal organs would sustain severe burns, which sometimes could lead to death.
The simple fact is that there’s no antiviral medication available yet for COVID-19. The coronavirus treatments are geared towards easing symptoms, so the doctor will only prescribe pain relievers, cough syrup, plenty of rest, and lots of fluid intakes when you test positive for the disease. As the World Health Organization puts it in this Q&A on coronaviruses, there is no evidence that current medicines can serve as a coronavirus cure.
Meanwhile, bleach should be used for its sole purpose: disinfecting surfaces. Use it to wipe clean the areas at home that are often touched, say, doorknobs, tables, stairway handles, among many others. Set your own condo cleaning calendar to keep your home sanitized.
Myth: You’ll likely die when you get COVID-19.
Truth: Most people who contract the disease recover.
Photo courtesy of Polina Tankilevitch via Pexels
When you’re facing a pandemic, it’s easy to be fixated on the negative news. The number of cases of coronavirus, latest news says, is at 198,241 around the world. In the Philippines, out of the 187 cases, there are 12who died and five who recovered. Despite these death tolls and the absence of a coronavirus cure, it’s possible to recuperate from COVID-19.
According to a study exploring the epidemiological characteristics of the outbreak, 80 percent of coronavirus patients have mild symptoms only. Moreover, there have been documented survivors. Elizabeth Schneider is one. A woman living in Washington, USA, recovered from the virus and was able to return to her daily routines after a few weeks of being ill. She had only one message to the people: don’t panic. The better thing to do is to monitor symptoms and get tested to battle the disease.
Here, in the Philippines, the first novel coronavirus patient was able to recover herself as well. Take note; this woman is from Wuhan. When you see symptoms, instead of getting into panic mode, keep an eye on your health for two weeks, and consult your doctor when it gets severe.
Myth: Taking a hot bath will help stop COVID-19.
Truth: This has nothing to do with disease prevention.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay via Pexels
Some people believe that a hot bath can prevent infection. Heat can kill the microbes, just as when you boil water for safe drinking. The thing is, there’s simply no evidence supporting this claim. Also, it’s worth taking note that when you soak in extremely hot water yourself, it can put your health and safety at risk, as it can burn you.
If you want to prevent catching coronavirus, again, follow the DOH’s guidelines to the public: wash your hands regularly, eat healthy food, and avoid crowded places. If ever there is a need to go out, wear a mask and maintain social distancing. It’s also important to follow protocols in your municipality, such as community quarantine.
Myth: Drinking water frequently can prevent COVID-19.
Truth: Again, there’s no scientific evidence behind this.
Photo courtesy of Daria Shevtsova via Pexels
This claim has been circulating online for a while now, citing “Japanese doctors” who claimed that drinking water every now and then can flush coronavirus down to your stomach, and once there, it will be killed by stomach acids.
Although regular water drinking is good health advice, there’s no research-based proof that it can keep COVID-19 from infecting your system. Doctors advise frequent water intake to ill patients, in general, to replace the lost fluids in the body.
Again, the best prevention measure for COVID-19, Philippines-based experts say, as mentioned above, is to wash your hands regularly, boost your immune system, and stay indoors, if possible. All this will help guard your family against coronavirus.
The coronavirus outbreak has gotten the world anxious and restless. More than the virus itself, fear has become contagious. Do your part in stopping its spread. Know the COVID-19 facts. Don’t panic. It may not be in sight yet, but this pandemic will be over in time.