With more and more people getting COVID-19, or “the coronavirus”, it’s important to find credible information, but what are myths and what are facts?
MYTH: Wearing a mask prevents getting the coronavirus
The CDC has said wearing a face mask is not recommended and it’s only useful for people with the virus to stop it from spreading. Hoarding these masks is not only unnecessary but puts the people who truly need them at risk, including health care professionals and people in close proximity with people with the virus.
FACT: Older people are more at risk for the coronavirus
Yes and no.
According to the CDC, older people are more at risk for contracting the virus, but also people with heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, or other preexisting medical conditions.
FACT: COVID-19 is deadly.
COVID-19 can be deadly, but globally, according to the WHO, only about 3% of people with the virus have died. This rate may even be higher than it should be considering it’s unclear how many cases there have truly been. Over 80% of these deaths were people over 60 years old.
MYTH: Asian people have the coronavirus.
People who have not been too Wuhan or near people with the virus probably have not contracted it.
COVID-19 is not an excuse for racism.
Devin Cabanilla, who is mixed race, took to twitter about an anti-asian experience he had at a Costco.
“Ugh @costco food sample lady told kid to get away because he may be ‘from China’ and was worrying about getting infected,” he tweeted, “The painful part was hearing my 8-year-old question for the first time looking different.”
Sharing facts and data can help stop this rising social stigma.
MYTH: You should stock up on food and items
If you’ve been to the supermarket you’ve seen the chaos.
“[This is] worse than Christmas or Thanksgiving or the Superbowl,” said one Vons employee, “They’re buying everything that they can get their hands on!”
There is no need to panic-buy items and food.
The toilet paper section in Vons is completely bare, which takes it away from people who may actually need to buy it, but the extreme panic-buying of hand sanitizer may actually have health effects, taking it away from immunocompromised people who it could actually help.
The WHO suggests regularly washing your hands and staying away from big crowds- not buying 50 bottles of Purell.
Photo credit: Finn Swanson