We’ve all gone a little cuckoo trying our darnedest to steer clear of the COVID-19 virus, and we can’t be blamed for our uber-safe, albeit obsessive behaviour. While being serious with sanitiser and donning masks and gloves like a pro is surely second nature to us now, some of us have admittedly gone over the top with our beliefs and practices relating to the ongoing pandemic.
From spreading COVID-19 through 5G networks to downing cleaning products to ensure total protection from the virus, the world’s gone a bit gaga with “COVIDspiracies”, strange and bizarre conspiracy theories related to the pandemic.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) cuts through the noise, busting the most common myths surrounding the coronavirus and serving up the facts, straight up.
Drinking bleach or disinfectant DOES NOT protect against the COVID-19 virus and is extremely harmful
Let’s get this clear, people—disinfectant, bleach or any other cleaning products are for disinfecting household surfaces only, not for you. Do not spray or put the aforementioned products on any part of your person, and absolutely DO NOT ingest it at all—it will not prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 and will most likely poison you.
Ingesting hand sanitiser or drinking methanol or ethanol DO NOT prevent or cure COVID-19 and are extremely dangerous
Hand sanitiser is for your hands—to be used topically and not ingested. Similarly, methanol and ethanol are poisonous to the human body. DO NOT drink any of these products are they are extremely harmful to the human body. While they can sanitise and disinfect items and surfaces, drinking them can lead to serious disability and death. They WILL NOT kill the virus in your body, but they can harm and even kill you.
Houseflies and mosquitoes CANNOT spread the COVID-19 virus
While mosquitoes are vicious creatures and can spread certain tropical diseases like malaria and dengue, the coronavirus is not one of them. Mosquitoes and the ever-annoying houseflies are pesky creatures that can annoy and bother, but they are NOT carriers of the COVID-19 virus. Also, only insect repellant can protect against insect bites, not disinfectant, bleach or other such cleaners, which are harmful to the body.
Hand dryers DO NOT kill the COVID-19 virus
Hand dryers are for drying your hands and not for the prevention of the COVID-19 virus. The hot air, no matter how high the temperature, DOES NOT kill or stop the virus. The best protection against catching and spreading the virus is to wash one’s hands thoroughly with soap and water and to to touch one’s eyes, nose or mouth. Paper towels or a hand dryer can be used to dry the hands, but they do not provide any protection against COVID-19.
Sunbathing, taking a hot bath or staying in hotter temperatures DOES NOT prevent the COVID-19 virus
That the virus is not as strong or effective in hotter climates is a complete myth. Countries with hotter weather have reported cases of COVID-19, as have nations with cold weather. The virus can spread in any temperature, and people can catch COVID-19 in any season. Spending more time in the sun or under hotter temperatures DOES NOT prevent the virus in any way, and taking a hot bath doesn’t work either (it does help relieve stress, though!).
Cold weather and snow DO NOT kill the COVID-19 virus
The virus thrives and spreads in lower temperatures as well as in higher temperatures. Those living in cold weather are equally susceptible to the virus as those living in warmer climes. The normal human body temperature is listed as being in the range of 36.5°C to 37°C, despite external temperature or weather, and snow DOES NOT kill or prevent the virus.
The COVID-19 virus DOES NOT spread through 5G networks
One of the most bizarre COVIDspiracies out there is one that links the virus to 5G technology. According to the theory, 5G networks—the fifth generation of wireless tech, up to 100 times faster than 4G—can weaken the immune system, making people more susceptible to the virus.
Viruses of any kind CANNOT travel on or through any radio waves or mobile networks. The virus continues to spread in many countries that do not even have 5G technology yet. Again, 5G networks DO NOT weaken immune systems and they DO NOT carry the COVID-19 virus.
Eating garlic and using a lot of pepper in your food DO NOT prevent COVID-19
The WHO would like to remind the world that spicing up your dishes DOES NOT help prevent COVID-19 in any way, shape or form. While garlic and pepper have their respective health benefits and properties, they DO NOT stop or kill the COVID-19 virus.
Holding your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing IS NOT a valid test for COVID-19
If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds or longer without feeling discomfort or coughing, it DOES NOT mean that you do not have COVID-19. While the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are cough, fatigue, fever and chest pains, there are other symptoms of the virus. Holding your breath or conducting other breathing exercises are NOT valid methods for testing for the virus. For proper laboratory tests for COVID-19, contact a hospital or healthcare facility.
Back to the basics
Let’s revisit the basics—the virus that causes COVID-19 is “spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks”. People can also be infected with the virus by touching a surface that is contaminated and then touching their eyes, mouth or nose.
There are a few simple rules to effectively protect yourself against COVID-19—frequently wash your hands with soap and water and also use hand sanitiser; frequently disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched and handled regularly; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; use a face mask or a face shield when out in public and make sure to keep more than six feet in distance from other people. /TISG