10 Myths about COVID-19


Alex Gordy

Kourtney Allee, Reporter

Although COVID-19, a type of coronavirus, was first discovered in December of 2019, public health researchers still do not know everything about the disease. Understanding the details of the coronavirus is important to stop the further spread and protect others. Especially due to the internet and media, it is difficult to know what is fact and fiction. Many do not fully understand or consider the evidence (if any) with these claims relating to this serious virus. Even at that, information is constantly changing which causes confusion. To make sure people understand the facts, here are 10 myths about this new coronavirus busted.

Myth No. 1: The coronavirus can be transmitted by grocery goods.
Fact: COVID-19 can stay on plastic and stainless steel for 2 to 3 days and cardboard for up to 24 hours, so some people think that they need to wipe down products they get at the store. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on their website states that “Currently there is no evidence of food, food containers, or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19.” They continue by saying that if you want to take extra precautions, you should immediately wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after returning from the grocery store and touching food packaging.

Myth No. 2: Pets can transfer and carry COVID-19 to others.
Fact: Although around the world a tiny number of pets have reported being infected the FDA states that “there is currently no evidence that animals are a source of COVID-19 infection in the United States.” Although pets currently may not be at risk, owners should treat pets as a human and avoid doing things such as:
Interacting with others outside of the home.
Walking dogs without a leash.
Congregating in dog parks or other public areas.

Myth No. 3: All cough-based illness is COVID-19.
Fact: Although many think that if a cough is developed it automatically means COVID-19, that is not the case. Especially now (it being allergy season, soon to be flu season) a cough does not necessarily mean you have the coronavirus. There are many virus families that a cough can belong to such as adenoviruses, rhinoviruses, human parainfluenza viruses, and respiratory syncytial virus.
If you have been in close contact with anyone you know who has or had COVID-19, that is when difficulty breathing and the cough becomes concerning and you should get immediately tested.

Myth No. 4: Wearing a mask means you do not have to social distance.
Fact: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated on their website, “CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”
Wearing a mask has proved to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. As the CDC states when you are in public, such as the grocery stores, work facilities, and schools where you cannot keep a 6 feet distance, a mask should be worn. The CDC continues by saying “that’s why it’s important for everyone to wear masks in public settings and practice social distancing.”
When in public, wear a mask and try to practice social distancing.

Myth No. 5: Public bathrooms are safe during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Fact: A recent study called “Physics of Fluids” explained how clouds of droplets from toilets can rise 3 feet when the toilet is flushed. The issue with this is that the droplets can be inhaled by an unsuspecting user. Just like all public locations, nothing is completely safe. There have been no suspected cases spread by feces/bathrooms, the CDC states, but making sure to minimize the amount of things you touch in public bathrooms is recommended.

Myth No. 6: If you don’t have fever, cough and shortness of breath, you don’t have COVID-19.
Fact: The CDC consistently updates the symptoms one might exhibit if they have the coronavirus. Not only are having a fever, cough and a shortness of breath symptoms but there are many others, including fatigue, muscle or body aches, a headache, new loss of taste or smell and congestion or runny nose. Not only that, but a person also might not feel these symptoms for 2-14 days if they have it, meaning they are asymptomatic. Regardless, if one has developed any of these symptoms or has had contact with someone with COVID-19 they should get tested immediately.

Myth No. 7: A vaccine is just around the corner.
Fact: Although it may seem easy to make a vaccine, especially with the little information known about COVID-19, there are many required steps before a vaccine is released. The Guardian, in an article, shows how many vaccines are in large scale efficiency trials, which there are currently seven. Scientists are currently aiming for a vaccine in the next 12-18 months. The vaccine must be proved safe for the entire population, meaning it may even require a booster shot to be effective for older people. Not only that, to get it to the vast majority of the nation or even the world would be difficult. It could be by the end of 2020 or maybe even 3 years from now.

Myth No. 8: Hand Dryers kill COVID-19
Fact: The World Health Organization, on its website, busted this myth by saying, “hand dryers are not effective in killing the COVID-19 virus.”
To help not contract or spread the virus, make sure to wash your hands frequently and use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Try not to touch your face and make sure you are conscientious of others.

Myth No. 9: Antibiotics can prevent or treat COVID-19.
Fact: The CDC on their websites states, “antibiotics do not work on viruses, such as those that cause colds, flu, bronchitis, or runny noses, even if the mucus is thick, yellow, or green.” Antibiotics are used against bacteria not viruses, meaning they do not work against COVID-19.

Myth No. 10: Sunlight or warmer temperature kills COVID-19.
Fact: Many different organizations have come out with their own research on this subject. On the World Health Organization website they stated, “from the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather.”
The CDC put out a statement regarding if the sun’s UV light disinfects surfaces, “early scientific data suggest that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can be inactivated by the sun’s UV light.”
They continue by stating how more research needs to be done to fully understand if sunlight could affect COVID-19. As for now, no one knows the exact effects sunlight might have on the virus.

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