Stop Letting These 4 Coronavirus Myths Fool You!
The world was shaken by a respiratory virus no one had ever seen before. Doctors and researchers didn’t have a cure and millions of people passed away. Hospitals were overloaded while authorities were trying to slow the spread of the virus with no success. Entire countries and states were shut down; the world froze before a frightening, unprecedented threat.
Does it sound familiar? Because I was just describing the 1918 influenza pandemic which took more than 50 million lives over the span of a few years. Fast-forward to 2020 and we’re in the same boat as our grand-grandparents, trying to spread the curve and avoid worsening the situation.
There’s a lot we still don’t know about the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It will probably take years before we recover from the pandemic and our world will never be the same. So what can we do?
For starters, we can stay informed and follow all the guidelines offered by government officials.
However, there’s also plenty of false information circulating around the topic and some of it can truly affect our health.
That’s why today I want to discuss 4 of the worst coronavirus myths some people are still believing.
Myth #1: COVID-19 is just like the flu
As I was saying above, the influenza pandemic has taken millions of lives – and it can still have unfortunate consequences unless it’s managed properly. However, today we know which medication works for it and (most importantly!) we have a vaccine that keeps us safe.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 also has a higher mortality rate than the flu or a common cold, now reaching almost 4% as per the World Health Organization. By comparison, the seasonal flu mortality rate is now below 0.1%.
The lack of knowledge, vaccine or effective treatments puts us all at greater risk for developing complications from coronavirus. Considering that hospitals are still overloaded, we should definitely take all precaution measures and not treat this virus as ‘another flu.’
Myth #2: COVID-19 only affects the elderly
People over 50 years old or those with underlying illnesses can experience more severe symptoms or complications caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, young adults can also go through severe symptoms and should take the disease just as seriously as their older peers.
Dr. Bruce E. Hirsch, physician and assistant professor in the Infectious Disease Division of Northwell Health, NY, has witnessed many severe COVID-19 cases among younger patients.
“A person who is young is less likely to have severe disease. But we are very disturbed to see a fair number of younger individuals below the age of 60 — in their 30s and 40s — and some of whom are deeply affected, critically ill, on respirators, and requiring extraordinary amounts of medical care and resources, who are getting this infection,” – Dr. Bruce E. Hirsch
Note that we still don’t know exactly how the virus affects our system, which is yet another reason why we should stay as safe as possible.
Myth #3: We can’t do anything until we have a vaccine
Dr. Hirsch estimates that a vaccine is still at least a few months away; even after it is released, it will take some time until we can truly acknowledge its efficiency.
Meanwhile, specialists are putting in all their effort into testing various treatments that may improve patients’ condition. That’s just one example of what we can do.
Another thing we as a society can do is to wear our face masks every time we’re out, maintain social distancing rules and keep public gatherings to a minimum.
Face masks can reduce the risk for coronavirus infection by up to 70% if they’re accompanied by other protective measures. Below, you can check out more practical information on this life-saving product:
- How to Make Your Own Face Mask at Home
- 8 Ways to Protect Your Skin from the Side Effects of Wearing a Face Mask
Myth #4: The virus was created by humans
I want to address this conspiracy theory because it seems that it’s still a concerning topic for many people.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a new type of virus which belongs to the coronavirus family. This means that other types of coronaviruses like SARS or MERS have been around for years now.
According to experts, the virus which causes COVID-19 is a mutation originated from the bat population in China. This time, the mutated virus caused respiratory problems which makes it very contagious among people.
Theoretically, yes, at some point there could be another new virus with a similar impact. This is the type of vulnerability we have to face, but it’s also an opportunity to be better prepared the next time it happens.
Do you believe that COVID-19 is a type of biological weapon released into the world intentionally? What are your thoughts on this theory? Share your opinion in the comment section and let’s chat!