The Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has enabled conspiracy theorists to promote myths and conspiracies that are untrue and even dangerous. A massive misinformation campaign is being conducted online via social media. Many unverified social media accounts are posting stories that may have a dangerous impact if accepted as fact. This has prompted social media companies like Facebook to start taking action and block certain fake stories from reaching out to people. Here are COVID-19 myths you shouldn’t believe.
1. The Novel Coronavirus is a bio-weapon developed by some nation
This was one of the first fake stories about COVID-19 that was posted online. Right after news about a novel Coronavirus started to come out of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, the internet was flooded with conspiracies such as the virus being a U.S. bio-weapon created to destabilize China and its economy. These are bogus claims mainly propagated by unverified social media accounts from China, Iran and Russia. There are also claims by the West that the novel coronavirus was a bio-weapon developed in a Chinese lab and that it suddenly got leaked. Both versions of these claims are false and medical experts are warning against believing such claims.This is one of the COVID-19 myths you shouldn’t believe. However, the sad state of the matter is that these claims are also being made by officials from both the U.S. and China.
2. The Coronavirus pandemic doesn’t affect young people
This claim came from the fact COVID-19 is a virus that severely affects people with prior medical conditions. Thu this meant that old people were more likely to be severely sick or die than young ones since old people generally have multiple medical conditions. However, this doesn’t mean that young people are immune to COVID-19. This misinformation was circulated online leading young people to be careless. Teens and young adults were going to bars and beaches when told to stay indoors and maintain social distancing. This carelessness led some young people in France to be hospitalized after they fell severely ill from COVID-19. It’s not clear if they had previous medical conditions but COVID-19 is a virus that can kill anyone if not taken seriously. This is another one of the COVID-19 myths that you shouldn’t believe.
3. You can diagnose COVID-19 by holding your breath for 10 seconds
COVID-19 affects our breathing system. It causes pulmonary fibrosis and this is where this myth originated from. People were posting false information online that you can diagnose COVID-19 by holding your breath for 10 seconds and checking whether you had difficulty in breathing. According this myth if you have no breathing difficulties, then you aren’t infected with COVID-19. This is not true. COVID-19 test kits are the only source of diagnosis available right now.
4. Gargling with salt water can cure : one of the COVID-19 myths you shouldn’t believe
Gargling with salt water can reduce the pain of a soar throat. However, it can’t cure COVID-19. Swallowing salt water is a related false myth and it causes increase in blood pressure which in itself is a health risk. There are also myths concerning food items such as garlic and herbs. Some people believe false claims that consuming garlic and herbs can cure COVID-19.
5. Everyone should wear masks
After COVID-19 started to spread around the world, people started panic shopping. They bought items excessively. One of the items bought were masks such as N95 respirators. Masks are good for protection but they should mainly be used by health care workers and COVID-19 patients. Health care workers should use the masks because they are vulnerable when treating COVID-19 patients. In addition, COVID-19 patients should use it so as to not infect others. The rest of us should not use masks unless in necessary situations such as going to overcrowded places. Panic buying can cause shortages and is not necessary.
6. Masturbation and cocaine can protect you from COVID-19: weirdest of the COVID-19 myths you shouldn’t believe
This is definitely one of the weirdest myths about COVID-19. Some people believe that masturbation and snorting cocaine can protect you from the virus. These unfounded claims were circulated online after COVID-19 started to spend around Europe and the United States. They are definitely not true.
7. Don’t take Ibuprofen if you are infected:one of the dangerous COVID-19 myths you shouldn’t believe
After a French health minister’s comments that some cases worsened after taking Ibuprofen, many people believed that taking Ibuprofen was not good for COVID-19. However, this is untrue and the World Health Organization(WHO) has said that there is no evidence that Ibuprofen weakens your immune system and worsens your COVID-19 case. You should take Ibuprofen as prescribed by your doctor if you are infected with COVID-19.
8. The virus is weak in hotter places
This is one of the myths I believed was true. However, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can’t exist in hotter temperatures. On the contrary, COVID-19 has entered countries with hotter climate.
The WHO has stated that COVID-19 can exist in both hot and cold climates. This is one of the COVID-19 myths you shouldn’t believe.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity for conspiracies and myths to flourish. You shouldn’t believe these myths and you should get information from reliable sources like the WHO.